Development of Armenian-Russian relations; Nagorno-Karabakh; Situation on Armenian-Azerbaijani border; Repatriation of POWs: Nikol Pashinyan, Vladimir Putin meet in the Kremlin
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Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is paying a working visit to the Russian Federation, today met with RF President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.
Welcoming Nikol Pashinyan, Vladimir Putin said:
“Dear Nikol Vladimirovich!
I am pleased to meet with you and to talk about issues of mutual concern. And of course, I wish to once again congratulate you – this time in person - on the election results. I think this is important for anyone, first of all, of course, for Armenia and for the people of Armenia, considering that such complicated and sensitive issues can only be resolved if one has the opportunity to work effectively. What matters most is to have the people’s trust. You have it as evidenced by the election results. This is extremely important; in fact, this is the most important thing. This is probably the most important precondition for development in such challenging times for the country. I congratulate you sincerely. I hope that today we will be able to talk both formally and informally during a working lunch about issues that we have discussed thoroughly of late and that call for prompt response.”
Nikol Pashinyan stated in his remarks:
“Thank you very much, Vladimir Vladimirovich!
Let me first of all reiterate my condolences over the plane crash in Kamchatka and express my sympathy to victims’ families and loved ones.
Thank you for the invitation and congratulations. This is indeed a major opportunity to hold an in-depth discussion of all issues concerning our relationship. This is our third meeting held in the Kremlin this year. I think it reflects the good dynamics of relations between our two countries.
We have regretfully been discussing security issues very often and a lot in recent times due to regional instabilities. Everyone knows your personal efforts and the efforts made by the Russian Federation in achieving a ceasefire in the 44-day war.
I must say that the situation has been stabilized ever since the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, though some hotbeds of instability arise from time to time. Today I would like to share with you my views and assessments as to why and how this is happening. The situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is still not very stable, and we mentioned this on several occasions. Unfortunately, here too, we have had a hotbed of continued anxiety for the last two months. I hope that today we will be able to synchronize our watches on this issue.
I still have to state that, unfortunately, the issue of prisoners of war has not yet been fully resolved, although there is some good news: 15 Armenian prisoners of war were repatriated just a few days ago, and I want to highlight and appreciate your personal role. We discussed this issue during our telephone conversation on June 24, and 15 of our compatriots returned home a week later.
There is some good news in the field of economics as well. I hope you remember that as early as in 2019, we discussed issues related to the activities of the South Caucasus Railway in Yerevan, and I must say that today the renewal of railway trains in Armenia is in full swing. This is really very good news, because a large investment project is being implemented at this point of time.
The exports from Armenia to Russia are growing after a Covid19-affected year. Also, I want to thank you for your personal support in delivering the Sputnik-V vaccine to Armenia. We have already received over 100,000 doses. Thank God the epidemiological situation is quite good in Armenia, and against this background we can witness a drastic influx of Russian tourists to Armenia, and this is very good news, too.
I hope today we will have time to discuss all important issues on our bilateral agenda and synchronize our watches after the elections and before a new stage in the life of our country.”