Kocharian Kuchma Sign Agreement on Economic Cooperation

KIEV (Armenpress–Noyan Tapan)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian and his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kuchma signed in Kiev on March 1–an agreement for long-term economic cooperation between the two countries for 2001-2010. Also signed was a "Joint Statement of the Presidents of Ukraine and Armenia" containing the basic principles and directions of further development of Ukrainian-Armenian relations on the basis of mutually advantageous cooperation.

After concluding negotiations with Kocharian and signing the agreement–Kuchma told reporters that Ukraine and Armenia were beginning a new stage in their bilateral cooperation. Kuchma said that the current level of Ukrainian-Armenian relations opens vast possibilities between the two countries for cooperation within international organizations. He welcomed the reinvigorated process of the Karabakh conflict settlement–which–he said "is important for Ukraine for its cooperation with Armenia and the entire South Caucasian region." Starting on March 1–Ukraine is the country chairing the UN Security Council and is ready to render assistance to the Armenian side if necessary. Kuchma also emphasized that Ukraine and Armenia cooperation is within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and that he hopes that the sides will cooperate within the Council of Europe as well. The two presidents also discussed the issues of creating and financing transport corridors. According to him–Ukraine and Armenia are interested in Ukrainian goods going to Iran via Armenia and Iranian goods reaching Ukraine–and Iranian and Armenian goods reaching Europe via Ukraine.

Kocharian told journalists that during the current talks they discussed the whole range of bilateral relations. According to him–there are no differences between Ukraine and Armenia today. Kocharian is optimistic about the future of Ukrainian-Armenian relations and stresses the need for "serious work" to boost them. The Armenian president also said that the Armenian and Ukrainian sides had discussed ways of raising the efficiency of the work of the Illchevsk-Poti train ferry–which is "the shortest and cheapest way for Ukrainian-Armenian trade." Ukraine is interested in developing cooperation with Armenia within the framework of the INOGATE program. Ukraine’s participation in the scheduled construction of the "Iran-Armenia" gas pipeline–which is supported by the European Commission as a promising route of supplying gas to Ukraine and farther to Europe via Ukraine–may become a major step in this direction.

Kocharian hopes that progress will be made on March 4-5–in Paris (where he is to meet with Azeri President Heidar Aliyev to negotiate a peace plan for Nagorno Karabakh). Kocharian finds quite feasible the prospect of settling the long-standing conflict. In Kocharian’s opinion–"the aspiration to solve the problem" can be perceived in Aliyev’s recent statemen’s.

Some intergovernmental agreemen’s–referring to extradition of sentenced persons and serving their prison terms in their respected countries–on mutual recognition of education diplomas–and on cooperation in the prevention of emergency situations were also signed.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.