Working visit of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to the Russian Federation
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Today, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with RF President Vladimir Putin as part of his working visit to Moscow.
The Armenian Prime Minister and the Russian President discussed a wide range of issues of strategic partnership between Armenia and Russia. They touched upon the cooperation agenda in bilateral and multilateral formats and the development prospects in political, military-technical, economic, humanitarian spheres and other areas of mutual interest.
“Dear Nikol Vovayevich, I am very pleased to see you. I think there is no need to qualify our relations: they are very special. It has been so for centuries, not just since you and I have started working together.
As of this point of time, the relations between Russia and Armenia have been developing at a steady pace in all areas, including politics, military and security matters, and the economy.
Russia is positively and definitely Armenia’s largest economic partner. Our country is Armenia’s biggest investor, and as I can point out, our investments are quite diverse. They include energy, such as hydrocarbons, with gas delivery standing at USD 150 for 1000 cubic meters, which is the lowest rate in the world for Gazprom. There is also nuclear and thermal energy. We are going forward in various fields in the metals industry, and machine building. So we have quite a lot to talk about here.
It is especially pleasing that bilateral trade grew by nearly 30 percent last year, with a 22.2 percent increase in the first six months of 2018. At this rate, we will surpass last year’s indicators. Our countries have a lot to work together on. I am very glad to see you to compare notes on our current and medium-term relations,” Vladimir Putin said.
“Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, first, let me congratulate you on Moscow Day. I have felt already that it will be a huge holiday, and I am happy to be here in Moscow in this festive atmosphere.
I am pleased with today’s planned meeting, the third in the last four months. I think the regularity underscores the special nature of our bilateral relations. Let me point out that our personal relationship is special as well.
I want to stress that despite certain pessimism evident in both the Armenian and Russian media and in social networks, it is my belief that our relations are developing dynamically. I think that our priority is to try to tap the full potential of our bilateral relations.
But that does not mean at all that our relations face no issues. God forbid any relationship be free from outstanding issues because it means there are no relations. I can say with certainty that there are no insurmountable issues, and we are going to discuss a wide range of topics today.
I am sure that these issues will be resolved on the basis of our allied relations, which are anchored in mutual respect for our countries’ interests and sovereignty, and the principle of non-interference.
I am pleased to hear Russian representatives repeatedly underscore these pivotal principles each time they speak about our relations. I think that our priority is to develop the potential that lies therein.
We boast excellent relations indeed, but we should not stop there. Progress can be made in politics, the economy, technology, defense, and in humanitarian ties. Of course, we are committed to further strengthening our relations, and not only bilateral relations, but our joint work within the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and in other areas.
You were right to note that our trade has grown by over 20 percent this year. This is certainly great news. There is a lot of good news when it comes to our relations, so we just need to focus and decide on certain matters, and, naturally, see what we can do to make sure we continue forward together as energetically as we have.
Let me repeat that I am pleased to have this meeting with you. I am sure that we can maintain this regularity, because I enjoy talking to you both officially and personally, so I believe we can look forward to a good conversation,” Nikol Pashinyan stated.
As part of his working visit to the Russian Federation, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Russia-based Armenian businessmen in Moscow. Before discussing cooperation-related issues, the Premier touched upon the results of his meeting with RF President Vladimir Putin.
“Together with the Russian President, we stated that we face no problems in the Armenian-Russian relations, and that we have shared understanding on all issues. Among other questions of topical interest, we discussed issues related to the furtherance of economic cooperation. This is a strong incentive for you to make new investments in Armenia’s economy,” Nikol Pashinyan pointed out.
The Prime Minister presented his government’s vision of the development of our country, dwelling on the fight against corruption, the efforts aimed at protecting and promoting investments, improving the business environment, as well as the ongoing tax and public administration reforms. Among economic priorities, the Premier singled out light industry, diamond-processing, jewelry, tourism, intensive agriculture, and the development of high and information technologies. “We must strive to turn Armenia from an agrarian country into a technological one, as it stems from our country’s security interests,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
Touching upon the guarantees of investment protection, the Head of Government noted that the protection of both Armenian and foreign investments is guaranteed by the legislation of the Republic of Armenia: “The most important statement is that any business activity should be carried out within the framework of legality. We should create an atmosphere of cooperation and jointly develop our homeland.”
Nikol Pashinyan said the Government is discussing the possibility of introducing new investment protection mechanisms and a “one-stop-shop” facility in order to promote close contacts between business people and different government agencies and enhance the level of public-private sector dialogue.
Coming to the reform of tax legislation, the Prime Minister advised that the Government has initiated serious changes to simplify the taxation system and improve the business environment. Nikol Pashinyan stressed the need for rethinking the concept of Homeland-Diaspora relations.
“The logic of charity needs to be replaced with that of labor,” the Prime Minister said, adding that his government seeks to provide all necessary conditions for our Diaspora-based compatriots to invest in Armenia and create new jobs, proceeding from their business interests and the logic of profit.
Several businessmen came up with specific investment proposals. Nikol Pashinyan urged them to submit their projects to senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and to relevant ministries for further discussion. The speakers exchanged views on the ongoing political developments in Armenia and the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.