Russian, Armenian Leaders Discuss Turkey In Fresh Talks

ROSTOV, Russia (RFE/RL)–The presidents of Russia and Armenia discussed the future of Turkish-Armenian relations during fresh talks held in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Tuesday. They made no public statements afterwards.

The talks coincided with the second and final day of a European Union-Russia summit, also held in Rostov-on-Don, and came just three weeks after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s high-profile visit to Turkey.

Opening the meeting with Armenia’s Serzh Sarkisian, Medvedev said they will discuss Russian-Armenian economic ties and “regional issues” of mutual interest. “I have had several important trips [abroad] during which — I won’t hide that — we also discussed the situation with the Turkish-Armenian settlement and some other issues,” he said in remarks publicized by the Kremlin.

“I have had contacts with some European colleagues. So I have something to tell you, something to share with you,” added Medvedev.

“Working meetings are very important,” Sarkisian was reported to reply. “I think that this is a very good format.”

Neither the Kremlin, nor official Yerevan released any details of their ensuing conversation. Sarkisian’s office said only that Medvedev agreed to visit Armenia in August.

The office announced on Monday that Sarkisian has been invited by his Russian counterpart to pay a two-day “working visit” to Rostov-on-Don. It said the Armenian leader will attend an annual horse race organized by Medvedev and meet with the governor of the Rostov region as well as leaders of the local Armenian community. There was no word on the agenda of his meeting with Medvedev.

Medvedev reportedly discussed with Turkish leaders the stalled process of normalizing Turkey’s relations with Armenia, Russia’s main regional ally, when he visited Ankara last month. He reiterated Moscow’s stated support for the success of that effort strongly backed by the West.

Medvedev also appeared to sidestep implicit Turkish calls for stronger Russian pressure on Armenia, which Ankara says is essential for achieving a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement and thereby unlocking its fence-mending negotiations with Yerevan. Still, he said Moscow will consult with the Turks in its Karabakh-related diplomacy, prompting concern in Armenian political circles.

Opposition politicians and some analysts in Yerevan claim that the Russian leadership could pressure Armenia to make more concessions to Azerbaijan for the sake of Russia’s increasingly warm and deep rapport with Turkey. Armenian leaders dismiss this speculation. They also rule out any Turkish involvement in Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations jointly mediated by the United States, Russia and France.

Earlier this year, Sarkisian praised the Russians for publicly rejecting the Turkish linkage between a Karabakh settlement acceptable to Azerbaijan and the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations. The EU likewise favors an unconditional establishment of diplomatic ties between the two neighbors and opening of the Turkish-Armenian border.

Medvedev and Sarkisian already discussed the Turkish-Armenian normalization and the Karabakh dispute at their previous face-to-face meeting held in Moscow in late April. It came one week after Sarkisian’s talks in Washington with U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“As close partners, as strategic allies — I’ve picked a more precise term — we must see each other often,” Medvedev told Sarkisian. He thanked the Armenian president for attending last month’s celebrations in Moscow of the 65th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

“I was very pleased with that,” added Medvedev. “And, of course, that demonstrates the extent of the closeness of our states and their desire to develop strategic ties in the future.”


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  1. john papazian said:

    This is great,pretty soon we’ll have not only the Russians and Americans telling us sit down and shut up but Azeris and Turks saying withdrawl from NKR and they won’t invade,right?WTF Sarkisian? Are you on the take to the point that you’ll deny our own history too? Is Armenian politics to the point where Armenia does not matter? Will the last Armenian out please turn off the lights.

  2. Avetis said:

    John Papazian: just for the sake of argument, let’s say Russia and America joined the rest of Armenia’s neighbors and told Armenia to withdraw from NKR – do you in your right mind think Armenia would have a choice in the matter? God forbid if Russia truly turns against Armenia. If that happens we can all kiss Armenia goodbye, not even a million armed nationalists like you would save Armenia. Yet the fact remains, Armenia and Artsakh have never been stronger. This will continue as long as our president continues to “meet” with Russian officials. Despite all you ignorant doomsayers, Russia will not abandon its strategic alliance with Armenia.

    Armenia’s only political liability today is its troublesome diaspora. You people astound me with your irrationality and hysteria. It’s simply amazing.

  3. Avetis said:

    I am amazed at how utterly shallow the “opposition” rhetoric is. It’s either threats and insults or intellectual brainfarts… And the mindless sheeple fall in line…

    Reading commentaries by senior politicians like Manoyan and Hovannisian feels like reading the rantings of a frustrated ten year old. Didn’t Giro Manoyan publicly complain some time ago that the authorities in Armenia were highly irresponsible for not airing the US congress’s senseless debate on the Armenian Genocide? These are our politicians, our opposition? These are the people expected to lead Armenia to a bright future? God forbid! These are clowns.

  4. Edward said:

    Avedis says – god forbid – Avedis FARTS with his mug of a mouth because his ass is stuffed with empty vodka bottles.Haidarag aboush, stupid as you are you can talk this way only if you are a political officer in a KGB labor camp,which you probably were , you cannot talk ,excuse me,fart this way to free people in a democratic country,which Armenia will one day be,despite red-owned circus faggots like you.We were all wondering where the shit from your lunatic cravings comes from – now we can see -its from all the red asses you lick as ordered from yer svoloch communist farty party.Also – sargsyan is not our president-he`s yours yours and a few other`s like thou.His first name is also faggoty russian SER-GAY,which is seriga in armenian.And what is yer real name abush avedis-isn`t it Eshuzavag Eshuzavagovich Eshuzavagian from Kremlin`s garbage cans?

  5. john papazian said:

    Just don’t want to see the real world at all do you? Trust a Russian politcian? Trust Americans? Good luck with that. The Iranians are a better freind to Armenia,even with thier holocaust denial and radical Islam.

  6. Avetis said:

    Johny, forget about trust, in politics there is no such thing as trust or a friend; but name me just ‘one’ thing that the Russian nation has done to undermine the Armenian state. See if you can answer this question without bringing up Bolsheviks. The fact of the matter is, no matter how one looks at it, Armenia exists today simply as a result of Russia’s presence in the region for the past two hundred years starting during the time of David Bek.

    Considering Iran to be a friend of Armenia is silly. Iran today is simply not an enemy of Armenia. But this can easily change if Muslim unity become powerful in the region or if Azeris or the West have their way with Iran. Compare what Iran does politically or economically for Armenia with the immense help that is currently being provided to Armenia by Russia and you’ll see the silliness of your comment.

    From providing billions in investments to providing cheep affordable gas/oil, from providing cheep/free nuclear fuel to providing cheep/free modern military hardware, from providing direct border protection against Turkey to providing political protection against Azerbaijan, from allowing millions of Armenians to work in Russia unhindered to recognizing the Armenian genocide – suggesting that anyone else is a better or more trustworthy “friend” of Armenia is silly.

    The fact of the matter is, the only thing stopping Baku and Ankara from getting their prize in the Caucasus is Moscow. No Moscow in the region, no Armenia. Trust me on this. This is why I think uncontrolled nationalism, Russophobia and a lack of understanding of politics amongst Armenians could prove suicidal for the Armenian state.