Armenian, Russian leaders discuss bilateral strategic issues
YEREVAN, APRIL 7, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan arrived in the Russian Federation on a working visit and met with RF President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, ARMENPRESS was informed from the Office of the Prime Minister.
The conversation between the two leaders is presented below,
Vladimmir Putin - I am grateful to you for accepting the invitation, because, of course, we have things to talk about in terms of building bilateral relations and, needless to say, we need to discuss the most pressing problem which is normalising the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and related matters.
I am not going to list all the things that go into bilateral relations, or talk about the degree of depth of our relations, which are of a truly strategic nature. I will not list the international platforms on which we cooperate, either. Still, I believe it is important to mention that 40 percent of all capital investment in the Armenian economy comes from Russia.
Our trade turnover is quite impressive. However, for various reasons, but, primarily, of course, because of the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen a slight decline over the past year. I am confident that in the very near future we will not only rebuild our trade to its previous volume, but even expand it.
I see that the Intergovernmental Commission, which you and I have established, is working energetically on both sides. You have taken bold action to support its activities, and Deputy Prime Minister [Alexei] Overchuk regularly goes to Yerevan. Quite recently you received him, and he reported to you on how we see the dynamics of interaction in the region with the post-war situation in mind. You and I have discussed this issue many times.
Of course, the possibility of restoring trade and economic ties as well as transport routes in the region, so that Armenia can enjoy more opportunities for growth is the most important matter. I believe this is crucial.
I hope that today, during our conversation here and then at a working lunch, we will have the chance to discuss with you all these matters, as well as others stemming from the current situation and involving prospects for future development.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich! I am very glad to see you. First of all, let me thank you for the invitation to visit Moscow.
We will keep in close touch indeed, but meetings like this are important in terms of synchronizing the clocks, as they say. We are going to discuss a fairly hectic agenda, inclusive of strategic issues.
First of all, I would like to note that the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh is becoming an important factor of stability and security in the region, and in this vein, I hope to discuss with you today your views on the architecture of security systems in our region - in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, in Armenia and in the region, as a whole.
I hope today we can discuss issues related to the activities of the Russian-Armenian grouping of forces. We have a joint regional air defense system, and there are some nuances that I hope we will be able to clarify today.
I would like to reaffirm my appreciation of your personal contribution to regional stabilization, especially in the wake of the war following the signing of the joint statement with you and the President of Azerbaijan. But let me note that there is a very sensitive issue yet to be solved in this context – the issue of prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees.
As we have repeatedly discussed, according to the November 9 statement, all hostages, prisoners of war, and other detainees should be returned to their homeland, but, unfortunately, we still have detainees in Azerbaijan. I am happy that we have no discrepancies concerning this issue.
It is also crucial to discuss our vision of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, because unfortunately the problem has not been resolved yet, and we need to talk about our vision of the future. And as you said, we should definitely discuss issues of economic cooperation.
I hope that today we will refer to some issues concerning strategic investments, and in that vein, I would like to discuss with you the possibility of building a new nuclear power plant in the Republic of Armenia.
We have been working closely to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, we will get the first batch of Russian vaccine as early as tomorrow. It should be noted that the first batch is a symbolic one, but we look forward to procuring a large amount of Russian vaccine, because it has proven its effectiveness in practice.
We actually have to explore a broad range of issues. I hope and I am confident that we will have very effective talks today.
Vladimir Putin: Of course, we will talk about all of these issues in the most detailed way. We will take up all those issues that you feel are necessary to discuss, including the vaccine, of course. By the way, have you already completed the registration procedure in Armenia?
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: Yes, the first batch will arrive in Armenia tomorrow. True, only 15,000 doses, but we need more than a million. I understand that currently there is a great demand for the vaccine in Russia, too.
Vladimir Putin: Our domestic production is on the rise. We are talking about a fairly large amount of output. Therefore, I think we will successfully tackle this problem.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: Not to the detriment of Russian citizens, Russian consumers. The volume of production is comparable to the need in our country, because not everyone wants to be vaccinated right away. As the vaccination campaign progresses, more and more people want to get this vaccine, which makes that supply meets the domestic demand in general. There is even a slight preponderance of supply. At the same time, the level of output is growing, so we can discuss this issue.