Russia, Armenia ‘close strategic partners’ – Presidents

Presidents Sargsyan & Putin - Photo: RIA Novosti
Presidents Sargsyan & Putin - Photo: RIA Novosti
Russia’s annual trade with Armenia is back to the pre-crisis level of about $1bn, and there is room for it to grow even further. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Serge Sargsyan discussed this and other matters at their meeting in Moscow on Wednesday. 

Their meeting closely coincided with the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Armenia and the 15th anniversary of the Russian-Armenian friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance treaty.

After emerging from the talks, Mr Putin spoke for the press:

“We have discussed Russian-Armenian coordination within international organizations, including the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. We also devoted time to post-Soviet integration and agreed to set up a bilateral commission which would look into how Armenia can build cooperation with the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Unfortunately, the Customs Union does not share land borders with Armenia. This obstacle, however, can be successfully overcome with the help of international agreements, signed by the Customs Union countries.”

Mr Sargsyan reaffirmed Armenia’s commitment to strengthening the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which brings his country together with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In September, his country is to host exercises of the Collective Rapid Deployment Force of the CSTO.

He also spoke about joint projects in the economy:

“These are long-term projects. They include several new generating units at Armenia’s Metsamor nuclear power plant and important infrastructure installations on Armenian territory.”

The Armenian President described Russia as a powerful factor of strategic stability in the South Caucasus. He also accepted Putin’s offer of further Russian mediation on the issue Nagorny Karabakh, a breakaway Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan. Mr Sargsyan praised Russia’s role in Karabakh as ‘constructive’ and ‘conducive to stability and peace’.

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