06, 2008

President Serzh Sargsyan's official visit to the Russian Federation

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On June 24, President Serzh Sargsyan met in Kremlin with the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev.

Beginning of a Meeting President Serzh Sargsyan and President Dmitry Medvedev.

Dear Serzh Azatovich!

As we recently agreed in St Petersburg, we are now meeting during your first official visit to the Russian Federation.

We are delighted to welcome you to Moscow. We hope that the talks on a wide range of issues will be productive and commensurate with the level of cooperative alliance and partnership that exists between Armenia and the Russian Federation.

I think that we will be discussing the political aspects of this cooperation, economic issues and the socio-cultural extension of our dialogue – we’ll do a tour of all the crucial issues.
I am delighted to welcome you to Moscow.

PRESIDENT SERZH SARGSYAN: Thank you, Dmitry Anatolyevich!

Allow me to thank you for the kind invitation and the warm reception, and to underline the importance of this meeting for developing relations between our countries.

Let me reiterate my invitation to visit Armenia at any time that is convenient. I am confident that our relations will continue to develop in line with the mutual understanding and strategic partnership that we have developed according to the spirit and letter of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance and the Declaration on Strategic Cooperation between Russia and Armenia in the 21st century. I am sure that today's talks will raise relations between our countries to a new level.

DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Thank you, Serzh Azatovich. And thank you for the invitation to visit Armenia.

President Serzh Sargsyan and President Dmitry Medvedev discussed a wide range of issues of Russian-Armenian cooperation, in particular prospects for expanding production and technological cooperation, further cooperation among small and medium businesses and opportunities for promoting mutual investments.

The two sides also agreed on steps to assist a number of major projects being carried out by Russian companies in Armenia.

There was an exchange of views on important regional and international issues. Serzh Sargsyan and Dmitry Medvedev reaffirmed their readiness to coordinate foreign policy activities on a bilateral and multilateral basis, including through interaction in the CIS and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in view of Armenia's forthcoming presidency of the CSTO. There was also a discussion of the prospects of resolving the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.

At the end of the Russian-Armenian talks, Serzh Sargsyan and Dmitry Medvedev issued a joint statement.

It said, in part, that the views of Russia and Armenia on current international problems are either identical or very close.

The two sides plan to cooperate closely in creating foreign policy on a bilateral basis and within the framework of international organisations in order to strengthen peace, stability and security on both a regional and global scale.

During the official visit, President Sargsyan had meetings with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Chairman of the Federal Council of the Russian Federal Assembly Sergey Mironov,Speaker of the State Duma Boris Gryzlov.

The Armenian President placed a flower wreath at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier.

While on an official visit to Russia, on June 23, President Serzh Sargsyan met with representatives of the Armenian community in Moscow.

President Sargsyan noted in his speech that, of course, the Diaspora is linked to the Motherland with thousands of ties, but the historic ties of those who live in Russia with the Motherland are tighter and multifaceted in terms of both political and economic contacts, and these realities greatly influence on the relations of Russian Armenians and Armenia.

Today the Motherland has entered into a new stage of reforms and the solution of the problems facing Armenia and the success of implementation of programs are possible only with coordination of efforts of all Armenians. The comprehension of the exceptional mission of the Diaspora has hinted us to create a separate Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, which is in the stage of formation. It’s aimed at raising the effectiveness of our policy in this sphere. We aspire to turn Armenia into a regional center of healthcare, banking and tourism.

President Sargsyan turned to three pivotal issues. The first is the internal political situation in Armenia. “I would like you to correctly comprehend and assess it. A political force that openly declared it would not accept any outcome of the election except for its victory several months before it was conducted, tries to destabilize the situation in the country through political blackmail. I have declared many times that deriving from Armenia’s interests I’m ready to negotiate and work with any political force, and my steps have been directed towards it ever since I assumed office.

The second issue I would like to speak about refers to Armenian-Turkish relations. Our position on the matter is distinct: there should be no closed borders between neighbor countries in the 21st century. Regional cooperation can be the best means for establishing stability. The Turkish side suggests forming a commission that would study the historic facts. We do not mind establishing that commission, but only when the border between our countries is opened. Otherwise, it can become a means of protracting the solution of the issue for many years. In the future I intend to undertake new steps to further the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. Most probably, I will invite Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul to Yerevan to watch the match between the national football teams of Armenia and Turkey.

The third issue is the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. You know that recently I held negotiations with the President of Azerbaijan. We agreed to continue the talks in the framework of the document on basic principles. Nagorno Karabakh will never be under Azerbaijan’s’ jurisdiction. The people of Nagorno Karabakh has achieved its right for independent statehood in the framework of law and later defended it in an imposed war, and the issue cannot have any solution diminishing that status,” RA President said.

Rector of the Moscow State University Viktor Sadovnich awarded RA President with a Big Order of the University.

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