Oskanian meets Lavrov

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06 July 2004

Minister of Foreign Affairs Oskanian Meets with Russian Foreign
Minister Lavrov

Minister of Foreign Affairs Vartan Oskanian is on a two-day official
visit to Moscow. On the first day, the Minister met with Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The two colleagues began by expressing their satisfaction at the fact
that economic relations between the two countries is on the upswing.
They noted that the Armenian and Russian presidents had also noted
this positive development during their recent meeting. They also
suggested that the recent creation of a Russian-Armenian Business
Cooperation Association may result in an increase in this
cooperation. Minister Oskanian stressed that economic ties between
Russia’s various regions and Armenia’s regions are also very
encouraging developments and can only lead to further productivity and
positive results. Further, the Minister noted that Russian businesses
and the Armenian economy will reap greater benefits as soon as those
factories which Russian companies had recently acquired in the
assets-for-debt agreements concluded earlier this year, become
operational. The two ministers also focused on the need to revive
certain transportation links to enhance economic development and
regional cooperation.

Armenian-Russian collaboration in the scientific, educational and
cultural spheres was also on the agenda. They noted the role of the
growing Russian Diaspora in the growing number of exchange and
cooperative programs.

Ministers Oskanian and Lavrov agreed to continue to work together in
various international organizations, including the UN, the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as the
Council of Europe, the CIS and the Collective Security Organization.

Minister Oskanian informed his colleague about the process of Nagorno
Karabakh negotiations. Russia, as a co-chair country of the Minsk
Group, agreed that only a political resolution, achieved through
mutual compromise, will lead to an acceptable resolution. The sides
agreed that all parties will have to demonstrate maximal flexibility
and political will.

They also dealt with issues pertaining to President Putin’s official
visit to Armenia in the near future. Minister Oskanian invited
Minister Lavrov to visit Armenia as soon as his schedule allows.

This first official meeting between the two colleagues lasted one and
a half hours and was followed by an official lunch. The head of the
Russian-Armenian business cooperation association, Nikolai Rizhkov, as
well as Andrei Kakoshin, head of the Russian Duma Committee on the CIS
joined the ministers and other officials for lunch.

Immediately following their discussions, the ministers responded to
questions from the press.

Immediately prior the meeting with the meeting between foreign
ministers, Minister Oskanian placed a wreath at the Tomb of the
Unknown Soldier.