Kocharian Against Armenia’s Joining Russia Belarus Union

YEREVAN (combined sources)–Gennadi Seleznev met with Kocharian on June 10–the final day of the latter’s three-day visit to Yerevan. Seleznev told journalists after the meeting that "we are quite satisfied" with the current state of bilateral relations–which he characterized as a strategic partnership–especially noting the importance of the Russian military base in Armenia.

Seleznev added that any attempt to violate Armenia’s sovereignty would be construed in Moscow as an attack on Russia’s sovereignty. Seleznev said he raised the possibility of Armenia’s accession to the Russia-Belarus Union with Kocharian–but Kocharian responded that it is premature to discuss the possibility–and that Armenia prefers to develop bilateral relations with both countries. Kocharian said–"I shall do everything–within the frameworks of my authorities–to prevent this issue from being put on Armenia’s foreign policy agenda."

On June 7–Seleznev had said he does not envision Nagorno-Karabakh joining the Russia-Belarus Union as an independent state. Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Markarian said that during their talks the previous day–Seleznev did not raise the issue of Armenian membership of the Russia-Belarus Union–but he proposed Russia be given the status of a second official language in Armenia. Markarian said he rejected that suggestion–adding that "No one has the right to tell or kindly advise us how we should amend our language legislation."


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