MOSCOW (Tert)—Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian met with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on Monday as part of a working visit to Russia.
According to a press release by Sarkisian’s office, the two leaders discussed a broad framework of multilateral and bilateral issues, focusing particularly on cooperation in the economic and humanitarian sectors between the two strategic allies. They also talked of future partnership plans stemming from Armenia’s integration into the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
The presidents further exchanged thoughts on current regional and international developments, addressing, among other things, the unsettled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
President Putin hailed his Armenia counterpart, thanking him for accepting his invitation to visit the country. “It is very pleasing to know that Russia remains a leading economic partner of Armenia. Compared to 2013, our turnover essentially increased, but the first two quarters of the past year have seen changes towards a decline. There are certain subtleties to which I do not have a response now. We are ready to discuss those questions with you today,” Putin said.
Thanking the Russian leader for the invitation, President Sarkisian said with satisfaction that the Armenian-Russian bilateral agenda continues to be enriched with new initiatives.
“Our meetings, held periodically, have allowed us to sum up the previous agreements and respond to the questions arising in the course of time. Last time we together thoroughly discussed our agenda in Yerevan, as you attended the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, and we did, of course, exchange views at the Moscow-hosted events dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War. And [we continued the talks] also in Ufa. Questions of major importance were resolved for Armenia over that period, so I would like to thank you at once for [the decision] to hand over the Permyakov criminal case to Armenia’s justice authorities. I am very grateful to you. Today, we signed an agreement with the Ministry of Energy, agreeing to reduce the natural gas price by $25 USD to $165. A $200 million worth loan agreement was signed for upgrading the Armed Forces’ arsenal,” Sarkisian said.
Sarkisian also highlighted a recently signed agreement on modernizing Armenia’s nuclear power plant and other integration processes following Armenia’s membership in the EEU.
He added that the price of energy carriers remains a major issue for Armenia, with fluctuating currency exchange rates negatively affecting the market. Sarkisian said he is hopeful that they would find a solution to that problem too.
Sarkisian further addressed recent armed tension along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh, saying that Armenia had no choice but to react adequately in such a situation.
He added that bilateral humanitarian relations with Russia are developing very dynamically, with the opening of the Lomonosov Moscow University branch in Yerevan serving as a good example of that. “The Russian gymnasium will begin its activities soon, and in just a couple of weeks we will conduct the third international student conference of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. I want to also state that the inter-governmental committee works very well,” Sarkisian said, once again thanking President Putin for the meeting.