Sarkisian Hopeful Russia Will Secure Karabakh Peace

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian expressed hope that Russia’s latest push for a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will prove successful as he met with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Wednesday.

Sarkisian also held separate talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin which reportedly focused on Russian-Armenian economic ties.

“I want to thank you for your efforts,” he told Medvedev at the start of their meeting in the Kremlin. “That is very important. Russia always played a positive role in the Caucasus, and we very much hope that your efforts will positively end soon.”

Medvedev, for his part, said the Karabakh dispute will be high on the agenda of the talks, which continued behind closed doors. Their details were not disclosed by the press offices of the two leaders afterwards.

Medvedev is expected to discuss Karabakh with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on the sidelines of a summit of Caspian Sea states that will begin its work in Baku on Thursday.

The Russian leader has hosted seven face-to-face meetings between Aliyev and Sarkisian since taking office in 2008. The most recent of those meetings took place in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan on October 27.

Medvedev said after that summit that he is cautiously optimistic that Yerevan and Baku will iron out their disagreements on a framework peace accord drafted by Russia, the U.S. and France in time for the OSCE’s December summit in Kazakhstan.

Addressing more than a hundred Moscow-based Armenian businessmen during a fund-raising gala on Tuesday, Sarkisian again stated that a peace deal is contingent on Azerbaijan accepting Karabakh’s right to self-determination. He also dismissed Baku’s war threats, saying that the Armenians are now “stronger than ever before.”

The businessmen reportedly pledged more than $8 million in donations to rural water infrastructure projects in Karabakh devised by Hayastan All-Armenia Fund.

Sarkisian met Putin later on Wednesday. In his opening remarks, the powerful Russian premier said bilateral commercial ties will be the main focus of their discussions. He praised a major rise in Russian-Armenian trade observed this year and noted that Russia is solidifying its status as Armenia’s leading foreign investor.

“Our biggest companies are actively working in the Armenian market,” added Putin. “And we are grateful to you and the government of Armenia for creating the necessary conditions for that work.”

Sarkisian responded by thanking Moscow for providing a $500 million anti-crisis loan to Armenia last year. “Without that money, we would not have managed to recover [from the economic recession] this year,” he said.

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10 Comments

  1. Norin Radd said:

    Russia while a good ally, is still an ally that for obvious reasons must first consider its own well being first. That is why Armenia must continue toward more self-reliance and continually fortify itself economically and militarily. While this may seem like daunting task, it is certainly in the very realm of possibility in the 21st century with Armenians coming together, uniting, and working toward a common goal of strengthening our homeland.

    This year water for our Arstakh may be important, but the telethons efforts should also be vested in defense needs of our nation Armenia and Arstakh, the realities of today for all Armenians in the 21st century should encourage us all to value weapons just as much as we would value water. Unless of course we revert back to the days of yore when naive idiotic Armenians were huddling under Turkey’s skirt vying for status and material gain, we know how that ended in 1915, don’t we? Remember your past Armenians, remember your past . . . .

    • Armenia Fund said:

      @ Norin Radd Armenia Fund’s affiliates are registered organizations in respective countries (U.S., France, U.K.) and thus are accountable to that country’s specific laws and regulations. Non-profit organizations can not fundraise for or be engaged with military or defense needs. Laws and regulations are in place and non-profit organizations must strictly adhere to that. Armenia Fund, Inc. is in agreement and in compliance with such laws.

      Armenia Fund’s mission is simple: to rebuild Armenia through the construction of large scale infrastructure projects (schools, water ways, hospitals, agricultural development) and deliver humanitarian aid through rallying and uniting the greater Armenian Diasporas worldwide.

  2. ed said:

    Correction: we should first of all relay on us ! We should not forget how OMON troops did help Azerbaijani to deport Armenians around Arstakh and how even Iran sent a 1000 men strong military contingent to Fizuli (other side of Arax river!!!) as a warning to advancing Armenian forces in 1994 !

  3. Paul said:

    Norin, your comment is right on the money!!!! Today I really believe that most of the money collected will reach its purpose since our upper govt. officials are in very good financial shape personally.

    GOD BLESS ARMENIA!!!!

  4. Alex said:

    Paul means that they stole enough wealth to support themselves and their own people!

    We need to build an atom bomb and the the Turks/Azeris will sit deep in their chairs without making a peep!

  5. steve said:

    i am surprised to learn that iran sent troops into azerbaijan where aremnians were, i am still learning about this, then i guess no islam nation is trusting for us, any chance they get theyll take our nation.

  6. ed said:

    Official Azerbaijan is going to make use of terror and threatening with killing of foreigners visiting Arstakh

    “Azerbaijani FM: Russian company ceases tour to Nagorno-Karabakh

    Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 18 /Trend, S.Agayeva/
    The Russian Astravel Company ceased tour to Nagorno-Karabakh.

    The Azerbaijani embassy in the Russian Federation had informed that the Astravel Company, located in Moscow, organized a 14-day tour ‘Golden Ring of Armenia’, within which three-day trip was organized to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s press service said on Thursday.

    The embassy of Azerbaijan appealed to the company’s president Valery Loshshitsu in connection with this matter and explained that organizing trips to the occupied Azerbaijani territories is illegal.

    Despite all sorts of pretexts of the Astravel Company, the embassy categorically stated that organizing trips to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is unacceptable, and during such travels, the lives of the Russian citizens could be threatened.

    As a result of work carried out by the embassy, Loshshitsu said that the travels to the occupied territories have been cancelled.

    • Z said:

      We really need de develop tourism in Artsax, Let’s all go to Artsax next year and pass our vacations there, in spite of azeris!!!

  7. Z said:

    Hope thou not much and fear thou not at all.

    Armenia should stop hoping that others will solve it’s problems.
    Be a worthy man, take your destiny into your own hands.

    Alex is right, a BIG A-bomb is a very good idea!!!

  8. azade said:

    some of your comments are so childish, especially the ones about Armenia building an atomic bomb. lol

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