Russian Foreign Minister Praises Bi-Lateral Relations

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian Tuesday met with his visiting Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, who arrived in Armenia on an official visit coinciding with the 15th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The Armenian Foreign Ministry press service told Armenpress that during the meeting Oskanian highly underscored the permanent dialogue between the two foreign ministers on strengthening bilateral relations. Lavrov said he was pleased with the level of cooperation and relations between the two countries, highlighting what he described as an effective partnership in international organizations. He pointed out that the Armenian-Russian agenda was quite full with several agreemen’s in the economic, cultural, educational and tourism realms. Speaking about economic issues, the ministers referred to the pace of implementation of economic projects discussed during the previous meeting of the Armenian and Russian presidents. The sides also noted that in 2006 the trade-turnover between the countries had notably increased. They underscored the necessity of establishing effective transport communications between the two countries. During the meeting the sides also discussed issues on regional security and stability and expressed readiness to exert efforts towards establishing atmosphere of mutual trust in the South Caucasus. They also spoke about the current round of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict regulation.-0-/45/ During a joint press conference following the meeting, Lavrov said Russia was interested in a stable, prospering Armenia, which would continue its reforms, the results of which, he said, were notable in social-economic spheres of the country. Lavrov told reporters that Russia wished success to Armenia and expressed hope that the upcoming parliamentary elections would be a continuation of reforms undertaken by the government. Armenia is our friend and we wish that the country develops in accordance with its constitution and through choices made by the people, Russian foreign minister said.-0 In addressing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process, Lavrov noted that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and the sides involved in the negotiations were working on developing a firm conflict resolution document. We highly assess the efforts of Yerevan and Baku towards the continuation of negotiations particularly on the level of presidents and foreign ministers. The co-chairing countries understand quite well that they can not solve the conflict instead of the sides, they can only help, the Russian foreign minister said. Lavrov announced that an agreement had been reached over the mode of the conflict resolution process and what remained was for the sides to iron out certain issues related to it. He added that the co-chairs were of the same opinion over the steps which must be undertaken by the sides. The issue was now in the Armenian and Azeri court to come to an agreement. Oskanian said Russian played a very important and constructive role in the conflict resolution process. We appreciate Russia’s role and position in the process. Russia is not only ready to promote understanding between the sides, but will be the guarantor of implementing the provisions of the agreement, said Oskanian. The Armenian Foreign Minister Oskanian noted that the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents had reached a general consensus over the majority of the principles but there were one or two issues that remained unresolved. When we start to discuss the principles in more detail, we see that certain issues appear. This is mainly the reason why we cannot reach a final agreement but there is a positive change. We hope that on the basis of the agreement we will continue the work and reach a positive conclusion, Oskanian said. We hope that in near future agreement will be reached over the issues and will satisfy Yerevan, Baku and the people who lived and live in Nagorno Karabakh, the Russian foreign minister added. Oskanian also pointed out that each conflict must be viewed taking into consideration its specific issues. We find that the precedents have specific importance in the international relations, but each conflict must be viewed in its pre-context, he said.

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