Armenian President And Chairman Of Russian State Duma Discuss Deepen


25 June


Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, who is ending later today a
three-day official visit to Moscow, met today morning with Boris
Gryzlov, chairman of Russian State Duma (parliament).

Welcoming Armenia’s president Boris Gryzlov said that parliaments of
Armenia and Russia enjoy close relationships with high-level meetings
being held on a regular basis.

In his words, the latest national elections in Armenia and Russia
will give a new impetus to further development of their partnership
relations. Boris Gryzlov emphasized also both countries’ cooperation
within international organizations. He welcomed Armenia’s active
participation in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
underscoring that Armenia will assume soon its rotating chairmanship.

The chairman of Russian State Duma singled out active economic ties
between the two countries saying that close economic contacts have
resulted in active cooperation in other sectors. He stressed the
importance of active work of Russian-Armenian inter-parliamentary
commission, which is going to have its next meetings in Moscow and
Yerevan. He also expressed the readiness of Russian parliament to
promote deepening of bilateral relations.

President Serzh Sarkisian too underscored the work of the
inter-parliamentary commission and existing ties between
parliamentarians of both countries. He said Armenia and Russia have
signed about 170 various-level bilateral documents, which are ratified
by parliaments. He said active partnership is due also to well-designed
legal framework.

The Armenian president also emphasized the deepening of trade and
economic relations noting that three are about 1000 companies in
Armenia operating with Russian capital. He expressed confidence that
the bilateral trade will soon cross the $1 billion line with increasing
Russian investments in Armenian economy.

Serzh Sarkisian and Boris Gryzlov discussed also other issues of
bilateral interest. Armenian president made a note in the book of
honorable guests of Russian State Duma.

ARMENPRESS: Armenian President Serzh Sargsian wrapped up his meeting
with the Russian President Dmitri Medvedev by signing a joint
statement. The ceremony was followed by the extended meeting.

During the meeting of the presidents the two sides pointed out about
ensuring the continuation of strategic cooperation, intention of
continuing intensive political dialogue between the two countries.

The sides stated about the necessity of boosting further
military-technical cooperation within the frameworks of the Collective
Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and bilateral relations. With
the request of the Russian side the Armenian president spoke about
the current pace of Nagorno Karabakh conflict regulation process. It
was noted that the Russian side supports the peaceful regulation
of the conflict and expresses its support to help finding mutually
acceptable solution.

During the meeting the sides also discussed the prospects of close
cooperation in the energy sphere including in the nuclear energy
sector. The Russian side pointed out about the exclusiveness of
cooperation with "Armrusgasard" which creates special conditions for
the supply of natural gas to Armenia. In the trade economic sphere
the two sides underscored the further increase of the trade turnover
between the two countries which is close to exceeding $1 billion. Serzh
Sargsian noted that it is not the limit of the existing opportunities
and it is necessary to undertake steps for boosting trade-economic
relations more.

During the meeting the sides also discussed the issue of Russian
Railway’s investments in the Armenian railway system, besides mutual
interest was expressed over the construction of the Iran railway. The
two presidents also underscored the cooperation in the humanitarian

After signing the joint statement the presidents met with the
reporters. "These negotiations with the Armenian president continued
the rich and full tradition of high level bilateral partnership. We
have met recently in Moscow and Saint Petersburg but the most important
thing which we confirmed now is the strive to continue developing
our strategic partnership and cooperation," Dmitri Medvedev said.

He noted that during the meeting they discussed in details the
prospects of the development of bilateral business, humanitarian ties,
exchanged viewpoints over the regional and international developments.

"Armenian-Russian close cooperation becomes today more dynamic. The
figures which we have today reflect the real movement of the relations:
the trade turnover has increased by 1/3 reaching 1 billion USD. Russia
is considered the main investor in the Armenia’s economy and the
amount of this investments reaches 1 billion 200 million USD,"
the Russian president said, noting that the consolidation of such
tendencies and encouragement of further investments stem from general
interests, especially in case when such powerful Russian companies like
"Gasprom", "Russian Aluminum", "Vimpelcom", "VTB" are successfully
working in Armenia.

"Together with Serzh Sargsian we agreed towards a number of additional
steps for the implementation of large projects with the participation
of the mentioned companies. And of course direct ties between business
communities, small and medium-sized businesses must be more active,"
D. Medvedev said.

One of the main topics of the meeting was humanitarian ties including
in multilateral format. It was noted that a number of events were
conducted on a high level – festivals, exhibitions, educational and
cultural programs. The Russian president underscored the support of
the states in the implementation of such initiatives.

An important part of negotiations, according to the Russian president,
was connected with the discussion of regional and international
issues. "We once again expressed our readiness to expand our
cooperation within the frameworks of CIS and CSTO. I am sure that
Armenia’s and Russia’s partnership is a guarantee of the stability
of the whole region.

Russia’s priorities remain unchanged. We believe that the conflicts
in the South Caucasus must be solved exclusively in a peaceful way on
the basis of the existing format and international norm. Our country
is ready to promote the finding of such solutions which will stem
from the interests of the people living there. All this also refers
to the situation over Nagorno Karabakh. We specially point out the
role of the Minsk Group in the process of negotiations. We also spoke
of the opportunities speeding up the process," Medvedev said.

Russian president thanked Serzh Sargsian for constructive dialogue
expressing assurance that the Russian and Armenian partnership will
develop in future as well for the sake of prosperity of the countries
and welfare of the peoples.

Armenian president on his part thanked for the invitation and warm
reception, as well as for the constructive negotiations. "This is
manifestation of strive to continue developing and expanding strategic
relations between Armenia and Russia," Armenian president said.

He noted that in the joint statement not only assessment has been
given to the existing situation and readiness to boost cooperation
but also the prospects of the development.

The Armenian president added that together with his Russian counterpart
they discussed a wide range of issues on bilateral relations as well
as mutual partnership in the international arena and regional policy.

"We expressed readiness to exert efforts over the improvement of
the CIS aiming at reaching the utmost efficiency in the integration
processes," Serzh Sargsian said, noting that the CSTO importance was
also noted.

Armenian president also expressed assurance that the cooperation
in the fuel-energy, scientific, nuclear energy, leading technology
spheres are the most prospective fields of further cooperation.

"We agreed to find new opportunities to increase volume of bilateral
cooperation and we are ready to display serious attention to concrete
and mutual programs. I am sure that the results of the negotiations
will have a favorable impact on the development of inter-state ties. I
have invited Russian president to pay an official visit this year to
Armenia for continuing our dialogue," S. Sargsian said.

Yesterday Armenian president also met with Russian Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin and discussed with him a number of issues on economic
relations between the two countries. S. Sargsian also met with
S. Mironov, put a wreath on the memorial to the unknown soldier.

Minister Seyran Ohanian received today France’s ambassador Serge
Smessow. Colonel Seyran Shahsuvarian, spokesman for the Defense
Ministry, told Armenpress that the ambassador congratulated Ohanian
on having taken as minister expressing also hope that Armenian-French
relations will deepen further during Ohanian’s tenure.

Speaking about deepening bilateral relationships the minister said
that centuries-long French-Armenian friendship is unprecedented and
important in terms of both government and non-government levels.

Minister Ohanian said that both countries should focus on developing
their military relations in peacekeeping activities saying also that
France’s possible participation in military games slated for autumn
in Armenia will promote development of military relations between
France and Armenia.

In a reference to 2008 military cooperation programs both sides
discussed military medicine, language teaching related issues
expressing hope that the stepped up contacts will lead to signing of
a military cooperation agreement.

The defense minister then thanked the ambassador Smessow for continued
assistance to French language classroom in Vazgen Sarkisian military
academy and for a quota to Armenian cadets for studying at France’s
higher command college.

Serge Smessow for his part said that he appreciates greatly Armenia’s
warm attitude towards France describing bilateral relations as

At the end of the meeting the two men discussed also a range of other
issues and exchanged ideas on a set of regional, Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict and other questions.

They stressed the peaceful solution of the conflict saying that France,
as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, while cooperating militarily
with Azerbaijan and France should maintain parity.