Putin and Sarkisian Meet in Moscow

Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Vladimir Putin meet in Russia Tuesday

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Russia’s “special” relationship with Armenia and hailed his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian’s “convincing” victory in last month’s presidential election during their fresh meeting held near Moscow on Tuesday.

The two men met in Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence for talks that were expected to clarify the future of Russian-Armenian relations. They made no public statements or sign any documents after the talks.

Their press offices said last week that they will discuss “development of integration” processes in the former Soviet Union, an apparent reference to Armenia’s possible membership in the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

They did not mention this issue in statements issued after the talks. The Kremlin said only that Putin and Sarkisian discussed “pressing issues of bilateral interaction.” A separate statement by the Armenian presidential press service said the two leaders talked about ways of stepping up Russian-Armenian cooperation “in the political, economic and humanitarian fields.”

The two official sources also publicized Putin’s and Sarkisian’s opening remarks at the meeting. “I want to again congratulate you on the convincing [election] victory: more than 60 percent of the vote is a very good result that testifies to popular trust and enables you to implement all plans which you made when starting the election campaign,” Putin told the Armenian leader.

“We have special relations with Armenia,” Putin said. “They know this well in both Armenia and Russia. It must be said that on the whole they are developing successfully despite certain difficulties in the world economy.”

Putin went on to praise a 20 percent rise in Russian-Armenian trade last year and again emphasized the fact that his country has been Armenia’s leading foreign investor since the Soviet break-up. “We have big, promising, good joint investment plans,” he added.

Sarkisian, for his part, said it is only “natural” that he chose Russia for his first trip abroad after reelection. “Russia is our strategic partner and ally, and this pretty much says it all,” he said.

Sarkisian thanked Putin for “good progress” in the close Russian-Armenian military ties which he said has been made since their last meeting in December. He pointed to recent visits to Armenia by Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and top military commander, General Valery Gerasimov.

“I agree with you in that there is also progress in the economy. Of course there are issues here but we hope for Russia’s support and assistance,” Sarkisian added without elaborating.

The meeting continued behind the closed doors.

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4 Comments

  1. An Armenian said:

    What kind of a strategic partner would recognize Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s independence and not Artsakh’s independence. A decade or so ago, Armenia owed it’s strategic partner approximately $100 million dollars. Instead of writing off this debt, Armenia’s strategic partner took five strategically important assets from Armenia in exchange. This is the same strategic partner who supported the Azerbaijan when they were slaughtering Armenians in Sumgait and Baku. Russian are the same people who partitioned Armenian lands and gifted them to Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia in order to appease them. This is not a balanced strategic partnership. This is Russia looking after her own interests.
    Did Sarkisian “choose” Russia for his first trip abroad or was he summoned there?

    • www.Voskanapat.info said:

      “This is the same strategic partner who supported the Azerbaijan when they were slaughtering Armenians in Sumgait and Baku.”

      This is a lie. Russian Federation was one of the republics of the Soviet Union. Soviet Army arrived late due to politics of Politburo, but saved thousands of Armenians in Baku and Sumgait. Azeri Turks attacked and killed Soviet troops trying to protect Armenians. Russia had nothing to do with this as it didn’t exist as an independent country at that time.

      And when Armenia was partitioned and parts of her given to Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the same partitioning was happening to Russia itself. At the time when it was happening Russia was ruled by a band of maniacs who were not ethnic Russians.

  2. Harutik said:

    Those who blame the crimes of Bolsheviks on Russians are either intellectual midgets or Western operatives. In reality the Russian nation suffered by-far the worst fate under the Western-financed, Jed-led Bolshevik movement.

    While I agree with Voskanapat regarding the role Soviet troops played in stopping an even greater tragedy from occurring in Sumgait and Baku, it must also be admitted that the last thing on the minds of Soviet leaders was Armenia’s or Artsakh’s independence. Having said that, once the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, the dynamics of regional geopolitics changed accordingly. Whereas Armenia’s/Artsakh’s independence threatened Soviet rule before 1991, after the emergence of the Russian Federation, Armenia and Artsakh suddenly began serving Moscow’s strategic interests in the region. Today, Russia needs Armenia as a bulwark against Western, Turkic and Islamic expansion. As long as such threats exists in the south Caucasus, Russia will continue to support Armenia unconditionally.

    In the big picture, however, had it not been for Russians, Armenians like “john” and “An Armenian” would still be herding goats in the mountains of north-eastern Anatolia as christian Turks…

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