Russia Wants “Freedom” for People of Karabakh

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Russian Ambassador to Armenia Andrei Ournov referred to the Russian-Armenian friendship–cooperation and mutual assistance as the best model of integration between the two countries under the current conditions.

In an interview with Lraper TV Program–which was also published in the Respublika Armenia daily–the ambassador described the signing of the agreement as the central event of 1997.

Ournov reminded that there were forces in Russia which opposed the ratification of the Agreement on the Russian Military Base in Armenia and even challenged its ratification.

However–the agreement was ratified through the joint efforts of the governmen’s and parliamen’s of Russia and Armenia. Even though the ratification was delayed–it occurred by an absolute–overwhelming majority–including at the State Duma.

he economic cooperation was described by the ambassador as the weakest link. "The economic ties are still lagging behind the political ones," he mentioned. However–Ournov called the Russian-Armenian business forum–during which almost one hundred agreemen’s were signed–and the establishment of the Armrosgazprom joint venture among the several events inspiring hope.

"I would like to wish all Armenia’s–both in Armenia and Karabakh–peace above all else," the ambassador said. "We have maintained truce for several years now and this should be continued without failure in the future. Then–a just solution should be found. I say the solution must be a just one. Russia as a Minsk Group co-chairman understands justice in the following sense: the terms of settlement must provide the people of Karabakh with freedom without any outside interference–under conditions of peace and guaranteed security," he said.

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