Working visit of the President Vahagn Khachaturyan to the Republic of Estonia
Within the framework of his working visit to Estonia, President Vahagn Khachaturyan had a meeting with the representatives of the Armenian community in Estonia. The Ambassador of Armenia to the Baltic States Hovhannes Igityanan and the Primate of the Armenian Diocese of the Baltic States Bishop Vardan Navasardyan were also present at the meeting.
Greeting those present, President Khachaturyan highlighted Armenia’s readiness to strengthen the multi-layered relations with Estonia and the Baltic states. Within this context, the President highlighted the activation of high-level contacts both from the viewpoint of the Eastern Partnership and the development of bilateral relations.
The President touched upon the general situation in Armenia and the region, the aggression of the Azerbaijani side against the territorial integrity of Armenia last September, as well as the blockade of the Lachin Corridor and Armenia’s principles with regard to the establishment of sustainable and decent peace in the region and neighborly relations with the contiguous states.
Welcoming the President, the Primate of the Armenian Diocese of the Baltic States Bishop Vardan Navasardyan expressed his gratitude for the meeting and highlighted the importance of visits and contacts of this level for the Armenian communities.
During the meeting, the representatives of the community addressed their concerns to the President and raised a number of issues in a friendly atmosphere. The participants of the meeting also held a discussion on the possibilities of developing effective and close interaction between Armenia, the Diaspora and the Armenian communities and institutions, as well as the full realization of the existing potential.
President Vahagn Khachaturyan, who is in Estonia on a working visit, and the President of Estonia Alar Karis had a private conversation at the Residence of the President of Estonia, which was followed by an extended meeting of the delegations of the two countries.
Welcoming President Vahagn Khachaturyan, the President of Estonia Alar Karis noted that this was a long-awaited meeting for him, as Armenian-Estonian relations have the best traditions and a big potential for development. The President of Estonia was pleased to record that there is a small, yet very active Armenian community in Estonia. Alar Karis put a special emphasis on the fact that Armenians are exemplary and law-abiding citizens of Estonia.
President Vahagn Khachaturyan expressed his gratitude for the invitation and warm reception and highlighted the importance of such a high-level meeting. “Armenia is currently in a rather challenging situation, but nevertheless, I happily accepted your invitation to Estonia, as I consider the 20-year gap in presidential visits in our bilateral relations to be non-compliant to the spirit of warm and friendly relations between the two countries and peoples. I think we aren’t the countries that could “afford such a luxury”, and this gap should be filled as actively as possible and our ties should be strengthened,” noted President Kachaturyan.
During the meeting, President Khachaturyan presented to his Estonian counterpart the Armenian-Azerbaijani and regional issues, the details of the blockade of the Lachin humanitarian corridor and its consequences. In this context, Vahagn Khachaturyan expressed his satisfaction with Estonia's clear position concerning the unblocking of the Lachin Corridor.
The President of Estonia Alar Karis assured that Estonia as an individual country and as an EU member is trying to make maximally unbiased mediatory efforts to establish sustainable and everlasting peace in the South Caucasus.
During the meeting, the sides discussed a wide range of questions regarding Armenian-Estonian relations, outlined promising directions of cooperation, particularly the fields of high-tech industry, digitalization, cyber security, implementation of border security systems.
The President of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan and the President of Estonia Alar Karis summed up the results of the meetings held at the Residence of the President of Estonia with statements for the mass media representatives.
The statement of the President of the Republic of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan:
“Honorable Mr. President,
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
I am glad to be in the Republic of Estonia.
I am deeply grateful to President Karis for the invitation and warm welcome. I also highly appreciate the exchange of thoughts in a candid and friendly atmosphere, discussions on important issues, as well as mutual understanding on the further deepening of our cooperation in all fields of mutual interest.
Last year was special for Armenian-Estonian relations: it marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. What happened 30 years ago left a great impression on my personal memories, and as I mentioned during our meeting, the Baltic countries, including Estonia and Armenia, pioneered the way towards independence in the Soviet Union years. There were informal relations at that time, too, and after that, when we gained independence, our relations acquired a formal nature and had their logical development.
The high-level visits between our countries are the testament of the continuation of our relations based on centuries-old close ties and common value system, as well as the determination to further expand bilateral cooperation.
Armenia always attaches importance to the continuous development and strengthening of relations with Estonia, which have all prerequisites.
Today, I and President Karis had rather substantial discussions. In the atmosphere of mutual understanding, we thoroughly discussed the current state and the perspectives of relations between Armenia and Estonia, as well as a wide range of agenda issues related to bilateral friendly relations.
We reiterated our mutual willingness to deepen interstate relations.
We also discussed Armenia's efforts to establish everlasting peace in the region.
The Armenia-EU partnership agenda and the programs implemented within its framework were also discussed.
I highly appreciate the existing cooperation between our two countries in both bilateral and multilateral formats, including the framework of the Armenia-EU partnership, as well as Estonia's support for the development of these relations, for which we are grateful.
Dear Mr. President, concluding my speech, I want to thank you once again for the warm welcome you gave the Armenian delegation, and reiterate my readiness as the President of Armenia to continue making efforts aimed at the broadening of relations between Armenia and Estonia.
I believe that the discussed issues will have their results, giving new quality and content to Armenian-Estonian relations.
Being in the Republic of Estonia on a working visit, the President of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan had a meeting with the Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas.
During the meeting, the sides expressed their high appreciation for the close cooperation of the two countries in numerous directions. They particularly discussed a wide range of questions regarding high technologies, space travel, trade and economic ties.
The sides also touched upon questions of security and regional significance and highlighted the importance of stable and lasting peace.
Within the framework of his working visit to the Republic of Estonia, President Vahagn Khachaturyan visited Tallinn University of Technology and e-Estonia digitalization center.
The President was welcomed by the Rector of the university Tiit Land. The young scientists of the university presented their achievements, particularly in the field of cosmology, as well as cooperation with Armenian partners and the joint projects implemented at the Smart Center in the Lori region of Armenia.
President Vahagn Khachaturyan also visited e-Estonia “Electronic Estonia” digitalization center, where the General Manager of the center Ave Lauringson presented to the President the activities and concept of the center, as well as the implemented programs.
The center was founded in 2009 as a non-governmental organization and today is part of the Business and Innovation Agency of Estonia and plays a crucial role in promoting the country's “know-how” and experience in the field of digital services. The center also supports other countries in digitization initiatives and selects reliable leading IT partners for them.
Within the framework of his visits, President Khachaturyan discussed the perspectives of activation of cooperation and the opportunities of implementing new joint projects.
Within the framework of his working visit to Estonia, President Vahagn Khachaturyan visited the Parliament of Estonia, Riigikogu, and had a meeting with Jüri Ratas, the President of the Parliament.
During the meeting, President Vahagn Khachaturyan touched upon the current regional developments and issues, particularly the threats of a humanitarian crisis caused by the blockade of the Lachin Corridor.
Ratas, the President of the Parliament, considered the threat of a humanitarian disaster unacceptable and emphasized that the Lachin humanitarian corridor and any humanitarian corridor in general can’t remain blocked, jeopardizing the lives and health of thousands of people.
The President of Riigikogu also spoke of his visit to Shushi and noted that he had an intention to get informed about the general situation right on the spot. He noted that Estonia is ready to contribute to the agenda of establishment of peace in the South Caucasus within its power.
During the meeting, the sides also touched upon the realization of the potential and opportunities of Armenian-Estonian cooperation in the fields of digitization, high technologies and border security system implementation.
President Vahagn Khachaturyan and Jüri Ratas put a special emphasis on the cooperation between the Parliaments of the two countries and the development of parliamentary diplomacy.
Within the framework of his visit to the Republic of Estonia, President Vahagn Khachaturyan had a working dinner with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Urmas Reinsalu.
President Khachaturyan welcomed the statements of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia concerning the blockade of the Lachin Corridor and expressed his gratitude to Estonia for its clear position on the issue.
Minister Reinsalu in his turn emphasized the fact that Estonia is profoundly interested in the establishment of sustainable peace in the region. Urmas Reinsalu also noted that Estonia fully supports the decision to deploy a permanent EU observation mission along the border. During the meeting, the sides touched upon further promotion of Armenian-Estonian cooperation, as well as the issues of using the EU Eastern Partnership platform effectively.
Speaking of the current situation and issues in South Caucasus, Vahagn Khachaturyan highlighted that Armenia has definitely adopted the approach of achieving sustainable and everlasting peace in the region and establishing neighborly relations with the contiguous states.
Responding to the President of Armenia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia expressed his readiness to make every effort to contribute to the resolution of the issues in the region. The Minister also welcomed the eagerness of the Armenian side to establish relations with Turkey with no preconditions.