In Armenia, Putin Seeks Stronger Role in Caucasus

Russian President Valdimir Putin lays a wreath at Dzidzernagapert on his visit to Armenia (Photo: Armenpress)

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Armenia Monday on his first official visit since regaining the Russian presidency last year and vowed for a stronger Russian role in the Caucasus.

Days after President Serzh Sarkisian told European leaders in Vilnius, Lithuania that Armenia will continue to pursue “measured” relations with Europe, he met with his Russian counterpart to discuss continued development of the two countries’ strategic partnership, trade and economic relations, as well as Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union.

At a press conference following his meeting, Putin vowed that Russia would do everything in its power to ensure Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union, saying that all steps had been taken toward that goal.

In his remarks, Putin also discussed the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the role Russia plays in the security of the region. He said Russia did not want bloodshed on its borders.

He addressed Azerbaijan’s military threats against Armenia head on saying in the event of resumption of war, “Conditions for a peaceful resolution will be reduced, and other means of resolving the conflict will be reinforced.”

Putin also emphasized that it would be counterproductive to speak about what Russia will do if war resumes. “We must try to solve all disputable issues exceptionally in a political, diplomatic way. That’s what we’ll be aspiring for,” he said.

During the meeting, a number of documents were signed between the two countries. One such document envisions the cancelation of export duties for supplies of natural gas, oil products and diamonds. Another outlined Russian cooperation in nuclear safety.

Putin arrived in Gyumri on Monday morning, where after the official welcoming ceremony, he and Sarkisian attended the third Russian-Armenian Forum, at which the Customs Union was again a priority topic of discussion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian meet in Yerevan, Dec. 2 (Photo: Photolur)

In praising the virtues of the Customs Union, Putin told the Forum that since joining the alliance, Kazakhstan and Belarus have experienced growth in their countries’ gross domestic product during the first half of 2013.

“Membership in the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space has brought tangible dividends to Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus,” said Putin.

Putin said he was confident that Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian integration project “would seriously strengthen its economic potential, improve the investment climate and promote direct business contacts, including those between regions.”

Putin and Sarkisian then traveled to Yerevan, where the Russian president was met with anti-Russian, anti-Customs Union protesters, who clashed with anti-riot police. Some 110 protesters were arrested.

Dzidzernagapert Visit
Putin also visited the Dzidzernagapert Memorial Complex and laid a wreath in memory of the Armenian Genocide victims. He also watered the tree he planted during his state visit in 2001 at the complex’s Memorial Alley.

Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Haik Demoyan, presented Putin with a replica of gold coins minted in Petrograd in 1915. The coins, which depict the two-headed eagle of the Russian Empire and the traditional Armenian Cross were produced to raise funds for Genocide survivors.

While in Gyumri, Sarkisian and Putin visited the Russian military base, commissioned the 5th power unit of Hrazdan Thermal Power Plant and dedicated two stamps commemorating the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi.

Putin also honored the victims of the 1988 earthquake by placing a wreath at a memorial in Gyumri.

Gazprom becomes the sole owner of ArmRosGazprom
The Russian Gazprom Company on Monday acquired the last 20 percent of ArmRosGazprom Company, reported Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller.

Miller, who was in Armenia with Putin’s delegation, said ArmRosGazprom will become a Gazprom subsidiary company, adding that “the Russian gas price for Armenia will change, and will be supplied to Armenia at Russia’s domestic rate.”

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17 Comments

  1. Harutik said:

    God bless Russia. God bless Armenia. And may God help protect Russo-Armenian alliance from all enemies both foreign and domestic.

  2. Hratch said:

    Good move. No one else in this world will help us in so many ways. Yes, it is Russian hegemony, but we have no other choice. It’s this or gradually fade away. We have way too many issues, weaknesses and enemies to believe that we can go it alone without the help of a super power.

  3. craigprophet said:

    sounds like there was a lot of “decree-like” agreements with hidden agendas. And things just seem to “happen” out of the blue without any history of previous negotiations.
    And, regarding the benefits that the other countries gained through the Customs Union, for Armenia, where will the business and economical benefits really come from? How will it benefit those industries that are most important for Armenia’s future, like IT, for instance?

  4. Dvo said:

    One thing has to be straight we will stay independence and should never allow to make the same mistake to fall under a nother empire rule again.

    Armenians must think this clear, Russia doesnt love Armenia, that tought of Armenians that everyone should love us only destroys us as a nation, russia has its interests in Armenia every nation has its own interests.

    Russia needs Armenia for their influence in the middle east and caucasus.
    Russia needs Armenia, the sad thing is that Armenia doesn’t see this as an advantage Armenia.
    Thats why Russia uses us becouse we are to simple.

    If russia does not had an military base in Armenia Russia would never care about any future of Armenia.
    Why Russia or any other super power should love a country with less value, russia gains very little from Armenia except military and political power in the region.

    Believe me if Russia did not had an military base in Armenia, Armenia would than only slow Russia down.
    The reality is that nobody gives a dam about anyone, everyone thinks about their own interests.

    I am not saying that we should see Russia as an enemy, indeed as a friend not as a brother our problem is that we see everyone as our brothers for every silly things.

    We should not make the same mistake we did in the past a dozen times which is losing our country and falling under another empires controll, we are to easy being manipulated by others.

    No country in the world are the gaurdians of our borders of Armenia except Armenia itself.
    Russia will protect Armenia becouse they dont want to lose Armenia and their military/political influence in the region.

    We should renember the Treaty of Kars for example our lands were handed over by our “brothers” to the enemy Turks, such as artsakh and many other lands were gifted to the turks and azeris as a symbol of friendship.

    Brothers dont sell masive deadly weapons to the enemy and knowing these weapons would be used to murder your brother.

    Nobody gives a dam about anyone, Russians only give about themselves as everyone should be.
    Those massive amount of skinheads in Russia dont care if your Armenian or Georgian or anyting else they keep beating and murdering caucasians/non russians.

    I am not saying we should hate russians or break our relations with them, but just the opposite we should deepen our relations with russia without sacrificing Armenia for Russian or any other countrys interests.

    Armenia needs to stand up for himself and have some self respect nobody controlls Armenia except Armenia itself, all this conflicts and fights could have been prevented if we only had used our brains in the past by making the right moves.

    What we Armenians need and dont have is teamwork Armenians need to work together which is missing in our lives.

    (Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it)

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      You are right ”Nobody gives a dam about anyone” the only difference that Armenia’s and Russia’s interest are coinciding at this time, Russia can play the game of losing Armenia, but not Armenia, Armenia can’t afford to have not even one advanture in losing a battle or a war, Turkey, Azerbaijan, the West, the US, all are waiting like voulchers.

  5. Dvo said:

    mer sxalnerits menq menk’ kkorts’nenk’ ameninch mer yerkire yev hogher@ amen mer sxalnerin mer t’shnamineri hamar haxtanak@.

  6. Dvo said:

    Russians our friends we need to cooperate together without harming our selfs thats all 😉

  7. Gurgen said:

    This is Putin’s 2nd visit to the Genocide memorial. Russia has officially recognized the Armenian Genocide at the state level and we couldn’t even get Obama or Bush to say the “G” word. Bravo Mr. Putin and bravo Mr. Sarkissian for making the right strategic choices for Armenia.

  8. Arn. said:

    Very Good – I Quote –

    He addressed Azerbaijan’s military threats against Armenia head on saying in the event of resumption of war, “Conditions for a peaceful resolution will be reduced, and other means of resolving the conflict will be reinforced.”

    Armenias National and Russias Strategic interests coinsides.

    Arn.Swden.

  9. Dvo said:

    Than again we need Russia very much without Russia it would be catastrophic for Armenia, the military buying prices, gas, trades and many other things. But we must always stay independence!

  10. alek nakichevanski said:

    Welcome to Armenia bro, enjoy your stay. Perhaps you should consider a datcha in Garni next to the temple of Greek gods. And nevermind those street cleaners who hold the broom in the air upside down. They only dream to clean european streets in turki. And bring more toys whit you next time. Dasvidanya

  11. hirair said:

    RUSSIA SHOULD MAKE ARMENIA A MODEL COUNTRY WITH HELP TO INCREASE THE STANDARD OF LIVING IN ARMENIA BY HELPING TO BUILD INDUSTRIES WHICH WOULD ALLOW THE PEOPLE TO HAVE JOBS WITH GOOD PAY, AND WOULD MAKE THE POPULATION TO STAY IN ARMENIA,.RUSSIA HAS THE ECONOMIC POWER TO ACCOMPLISH THIS IF IT WANTS TO.

  12. Pingback: A Street Perspective of Putin’s Armenia Visit | Armenian News

  13. Pingback: President Putin’s visit bolsters Armenia politically, economically and militarily – December, 2013 | Heralding the Rise of Russia

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