Foreign visits

Nikol Pashinyan's official visit to the Republic of Lithuania

03.10.2021 - 04.10.2021

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has arrived in the Republic of Lithuania on an official visit. In the sidelines of the visit, the Prime Minister met with representatives of the local Armenian community, who represent the spheres of healthcare, culture and business.

Welcoming the participants of the meeting, the Prime Minister noted that this is his first visit to Lithuania and hopes that it will be productive. “The following should be recorded: following the June 20 elections, we note that the interest of the EU countries to develop relations with the Republic of Armenia has grown, though that interest has never been small. In this regard, Lithuania is trying to be particularly active and supportive. This is not accidental, because there are traditional ties with Lithuania, Lithuania knows the Republic of Armenia much better, there were active contacts between the two countries during the period of the USSR. We hope that our cooperation will be even more effective.

We are working with the EU to implement the € 2.6 billion investment projects in the coming years, which have several directions: business, technology, SME development, digitalization, development of Syunik or the southern regions of Armenia. We have already presented our ideas about the program to the EU partners and we hope to carry out substantive work towards their implementation. Those programs must be implemented with the co-funding of the state budget of Armenia; the launch of those programs is included in the next year's budget”, Nikol Pashinyan said.

Nikol Pashinyan referred to the situation around Armenia, adding that the post-war period was very difficult. “The problems related to the domestic political situation were solved, but the problems of the external environment remain tense. It was an interesting trial of overcoming domestic tensions through elections, which served as a tool to resolve the problems, while in the past the elections mainly became the starting point of domestic political tension. In this regard, I am pleased to note that the atmosphere of public unrest that we had from November to June has been resolved’’, the PM said.

According to Nikol Pashinyan, the problems related to the external environment are quite complicated, the environment around Armenia remains tense. “Despite all this, we have adopted the policy of opening an era of peaceful development for our region. We understand that peace does not depend only on the Republic of Armenia. At the same time, we will continue this path’’, the Head of the Government said, adding that every day new developments take place, aimed at proving the opposite, but Armenia must try to go forward in this direction.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan emphasized, “The protection of Armenia's sovereignty, the rights of the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh, including the right to self-determination, are among our priorities, but we must know that we are walking in a minefield, where we must be extremely cautious and vigilant. In fact, it has always been a minefield, but it’s another thing that the density of the mines increases gradually, which we witnessed last year in autumn. Unfortunately, the war had a difficult, even catastrophic course for us, but Armenia, the Armenian people, the people of Artsakh show an exceptional resistance, and that’s very important. We need concetration of efforts to solve the problems set before us, and I define its culmination as a necessity and imperative to open a peaceful era. On this path, it’s important to analyze the previous period and make correct conclusions”.

The Prime Minister noted that the election campaign contained such a component. There have been a lot of talks about what happened, but there are nuances that have not been talked about. The Head of the Government highlighted the analysis of the past thirty years, expressing hope that, as a result, it will be possible to open a new page for the history of Armenia, which will be much more positive.

Afterwards, Nikol Pashinyan answered the questions of those present, in the framework of which he referred to the creation of new jobs in Armenia, the priorities of the Government, the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the relations with Iran.

The Prime Minister noted that next year the Government plans to implement capital programs of unprecedented scale worth 350 billion drams, which in turn will create new jobs. The construction of the North-South highway will continue in full swing, several hundred schools and kindergartens will be built or renovated in the country in the next five years, and the works aimed at the development of tourism will continue. "Our task is to create the necessary conditions for people to improve their own well-being with their creative abilities," the Prime Minister said.

Nikol Pashinyan reminded that for the first time in the last two decades the Republic of Armenia has a stake in Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine, the largest mining company. “We hope that the share of the state will increase over time. This is not just a sale or purchase of shares, but a large investment project that will be implemented by a private company with the support of the Government. Today, when we examine the structure of Armenia's exports, we will see that a huge part of it is just a concentrate, which is mainly exported to the European Union, where copper is smelted. We want a copper smelter to be created in Armenia, which means creation of thousands of jobs", the Prime Minister said, adding that as a result, copper will be produced in Armenia. "According to various estimates, up to 5,000 jobs will be created in the coming years within the framework of this investment program. This issue is in the center of our daily attention”, Nikol Pashinyan stressed.

According to the Prime Minister, the Government searches partners who will create new jobs and finds them.

Answering the question about the relations with Iran, the Head of the Government said, “We have warm relations with Iran. President Raisi assumed the office in August 2021, and I also assumed my officie in August, following the elections, and we have already met twice. This is a fact showing how much we value our relations. It is not something new that there are certain circles that manage to publish materials in the Iranian press from time to time that Armenia is involved in some conspiracies against Iran. I am confident that our Iranian partners know that the Republic of Armenia has never been and will never be involved in any conspiracy against Iran, because we extremely value those relations and we will never forget that Iran was the “path of life” for Armenia in the early 90s. This is such a firm ground for our relations that rules out any involvement of Armenia in any anti-Iran conspiracy․

It's another thing that the economic relations between the two countries are hampered by economic sanctions. Not only Armenia, but many other countries in that world have no opportunity to bypass this reality. Armenia will never be involved in any conspiracy against Iran and that’s so obvious that there is no need to even talk about that. Just the opposite, we have major projects with Iran. During our discussions with Mr. Raisi we suggested that they should be accelerated, particularly, the 3rd high-voltage power transmission line is under construction, which is constructed by an Iranian company, and we ask them to do it as soon as possible. We hope to prolong “gas for electriciy’’ contract in the future. During the meetings I also suggested that we should return to the issue of the construction of Meghri reservoir and HPP, which I think is very important not only in terms of energy, but also in terms of joint management of water resources’’, Nikol Pashinyan said.

The PM emphasized that in the recent period a long-lasting problem related to Iran has been resolved, which was about the emissions of Agarak copper-molybdenum combine into Aras river. “The issue was constantly raised, and I am glad to note that it has been resolved, because the plant has switched to a closed cycle and does not emit emissions. "GeoProMining”, in the person of which we have a partner, responded to the Government's calls, which allowed us to deepen relations with them’’, the Head of the Government said.

Answering the question of one of those present, Prime Minister Pashinyan reaffirmed his readiness to meet with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev, touched upon the issue of returning the hostages and providing maps of minefields.

“Look, the President of Azerbaijan announced that he is ready to meet with me. Let me say that I had said back in July that we are ready to meet on both high and highest levels, which means we are ready to meet on the foreign ministerial and prime minister-president levels. In my recent speech at the UN General Assembly I said that the Nagorno Karabakh issue awaits its resolution and I can say that for several times already we have welcomed the statements by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs where for several times they’ve noted the need for resolving the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and restoring the peace process for this goal,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

In this context the Prime Minister noted that just like before, he is now also announcing that he is ready to meet with the president of Azerbaijan. “To your specifically mentioned question I can give the following answer: I am ready to take with me to the presumed upcoming meeting the maps which are talked about, and these maps are the ones which do not separate the militaries of Armenia and Azerbaijan from one another, meaning they don’t have a military practical security significance, they rather have only humanitarian significance because they are located behind Azerbaijani military lines.

I am ready to take with me to the meeting all maps we have and I call on the Azerbaijani president to bring with him all captives. Look, the president of Azerbaijan is complaining that the quality of the maps which we’ve transferred in the past is poor. Look, let’s make two records: first, we gave the maps which we had, meaning it’s not like we’ve kept the good quality maps in the drawer and gave them the bad ones. I do not rule out and I know that there is an issue with the quality of maps, why? Because the quality of the map depends on the quality of the cartographer, their professional skills, we have what they drew. And here we are honest, open, and we don’t have intentions to deceive anyone, because this isn’t only about Azerbaijan, but also our mediator partners, who are our friendly countries, our colleagues. It wouldn’t be honorable to try and do something in another way in that situation.

We gave the maps we had, we don’t have other ones, I mean in terms of the terrain which we’ve already transferred. This is a fact, this must be noted as reality. As refers to trust, it is clear that Azerbaijan doesn’t trust us in this situation, we don’t trust Azerbaijan and the whole issue is for us to try and move forward with small steps in a way to develop some kind of trust. This trust is important so that we are able to solve also humanitarian issues swiftly, and return our captive brothers to their families as soon as possible,” Prime Minister Pashinyan said.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister also touched upon the strengthening of Armenia-Diaspora ties, separate directions of the Armenian Government's activities and other issues.

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Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, who is on an official visit in Lithuania, held high-level talks with Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė.

Following the welcoming ceremony, the Prime Ministers of the two countries first discussed the topical issues of bilateral relations in a private conversation, and then in an extended meeting.

The Prime Minister of Lithuania highlighted Nikol Pashinyan's visit to Vilnius and expressed confidence that it will give a new impetus to the development of bilateral political, economic and humanitarian cooperation. Ingrida Šimonytė welcomed the steps towards the development of democracy in Armenia during the recent years, noting that her government is ready to support the reforms taking place in Armenia in various spheres, both within the framework of the European Union and bilateral cooperation. Ms. Šimonytė spoke about the early parliamentary elections in Armenia with admiration, emphasizing their compliance with high democratic principles and high standards. She noted that the Armenian Government has received the full mandate of the people to push the reforms forward with greater vigor.

Nikol Pashinyan highlighted the expansion of the Armenian-Lithuanian trade and economic ties, the development of cooperation with Lithuania in different directions. The Prime Minister spoke about the plans aimed at expanding business ties between the two countries and expressed confidence that carrying out direct flights between Yerevan and Vilnius would give a new impetus to the expansion of trade and economic ties. The Prime Minister thanked the Lithuanian side for providing our country with 50,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine, noting that only through joint efforts it will be possible to effectively fight the pandemic. Nikol Pashinyan also highlighted the close cooperation with Lithuania in the process of democratic reforms, adding that Armenia will continue to take decisive steps to strengthen democracy.

The parties touched upon the developments in the South Caucasus region. Prime Minister Pashinyan provided details on the processes, highlighted the necessity of the full implementation of the November 9 trilateral declaration by Azerbaijan, in particular, the return of prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees.

Based on the results of the meeting, an agreement on cooperation was signed between the Lithuanian and Armenian Ministries of Health in the presence of Prime Ministers Pashinyan and Šimonytė. It was signed by the Minister of Health of Armenia Anahit Avanesyan and the Lithuanian Minister of Health Arūnas Dulkys.

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda.

The Lithuanian President welcomed the Armenian PM’s official visit to Lithuania and expressed confidence that it will contribute to the development and deepening of the bilateral and multilateral relations. Mr. Nausėda expressed hope that the partnership between the Lithuanian and Armenian Governments will give a new impetus to implementing joint projects in economic and humanitarian sectors. The President of Lithuania also highlighted the partnership and the exchange of the Lithuanian experience in Armenia’s ongoing reforms.

Prime Minister Pashinyan thanked for the warm reception and expressed confidence that the Armenian-Lithuanian relations will continuously develop and record progress. In this context, Nikol Pashinyan emphasized the importance of expanding the economic ties and the trade turnover volumes.

During the meeting the sides also referred to the cooperation within the EU’s Eastern Partnership program, the effective implementation of the 2.6 billion Euro package provided by the EU to Armenia, as well as the ongoing developments in South Caucasus. The Lithuanian President expressed his country’s support to the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ format aimed at settling the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

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Following the meeting, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Head of Government of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė gave statements to the media summarizing the results of the talks. Below are the statements and questions & answers of the two Prime Ministers.

Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė - It is a great pleasure to welcome the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan in Lithuania, who is in Lithuania on his first official visit.

Our countries have had friendly relations for a long time, I think we will be able to do a lot together with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia to make our relations closer. I'm sure we will find ways to do that.

This year we mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. We are marking the anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations with a number of countries, but we have only managed to meet with representatives of a few countries. And I am very happy that this meeting is taking place. And I am very happy that this meeting is taking place. Soon our capitals will be connected by direct flights, and it will allow our peoples to get to know each other better and continue to deepen relations.

Of course, at this meeting we could not miss the discussion of the challenges facing the states. We have a very successful experience of cooperation particularly against coronavirus, our medical workers provide assistance to Armenia. Our Government has made two decisions on donating vaccines to the people of Armenia. I hope we will be able to assist in overcoming this problem, we will help the Government over this issue within the framework of the agreement signed between the Ministries of Health of the two countries.

I am grateful to the Government of Armenia for responding to the issue of illegal migration. One of the most urgent needs is the need for interpreters. Interpreters are needed to communicate with people crossing the border illegally, and Armenia helped us by providing interpreters. We appreciate that support.

As we saw, the support for democracy in the recent elections in Armenia is very strong. The Prime Minister and his political force received huge support. Reforms and democratic changes received tremendous support. I think that sharing best practices in elections, lessons learned from mistakes, and sharing information about alternatives can be helpful. We have passed a long path, we have accumulated rich experience, we have exchanged that experience and we will exchange it more intensively in the future. During this visit, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia will visit some of the state bodies of Lithuania, which will participate in the exchange of experience, in particular, in waste processing an dother spheres.

Within the European Union, we support overcoming regional challenges. Only recently, the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement was signed between the European Union and Armenia, and a number of reforms will be implemented on the basis of that agreement.

We believe that the European structures, with their support and participation, should play a very important role. Mechanisms for restoring and maintaining peace are also very important. We are ready to be Armenia's friend also in the future.

Thank you very much.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - Honorable Ms. Prime Minister, Distinguished Representatives of the Mass Media, Ladies and Gentlem,

Starting my speech, I would like to express my gratitude to the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Ingrida Šimonytė, for the invitation to pay an official visit to Lithuania, as well as for the warm hospitality shown to me and the members of the delegation.

Lithuania is one of our key partners in the European Union; I appreciate this opportunity to meet with the Lithuanian Prime Minister, President, Speaker of the Seimas to discuss our bilateral agenda, as well as to exchange views on Armenia's cooperation with the EU and the situation in the region.

Armenia and Lithuania are connected by many threads. Democratic values and the traditional friendly relations between our peoples have laid a solid foundation for bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Today we have unexploited potential to expand our cooperation in the fields of tourism, information technology, agriculture, food processing and industry.

Armenia has dynamic relations with the European Union. And Lithuania, as a friendly state and supporter of the Eastern Partnership, can play an important role in promoting Armenia's dialogue and cooperation with the EU.

During the meeting, I informed my colleague about the situation in our region and the developments that have taken place in the last few months. In particular, I stressed that the final, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be based on the well-known principles that enjoy the support of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

We highly appreciate Lithuania's balanced and constructive position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

We also highly appreciate the humanitarian assistance provided by your Government to meet the challenges that our people have faced over the past year. In this regard, Ms. Prime Minister, I would like to express gratitude for your decision to provide 50,000 doses of vaccine to Armenia.

I also informed my colleague about the early parliamentary elections of June 20, as a result of which it was possible to overcome the internal political crisis, the atmosphere of public unrest in the Republic of Armenia. These were the second consecutive elections in Armenia, which were assessed by international observers as free, fair and competitive.

As a result of the elections, our Government received a mandate to work in the direction of opening an era of peaceful development for our people and the region: a strategic goal enshrined in our Government's Action Plan.

We see the achievement of this key goal through dialogue and overcoming the atmosphere of hostility in our region. We are determined to pass this path. However, it should be noted with regret that the permanent ceasefire violations, the issue of the return of hostages and other detainees, the trilateral joint declaration, I am speaking about the November 9 statement, arbitrary interpretations, aggressive rhetoric continue to exacerbate the situation, hampering the establishment of the firm and sustainable peace so much necessary for all the peoples of the region.

But I would also like to emphasize that regardless of these circumstances, we will continue to pursue the agenda of establishing peace in the region, consistently, tirelessly, and I am very glad that the understanding of our international partners towards our agenda continues to grow.

Once again, I would like to thank Ms. Šimonytė for her warm hospitality and reception. I would like to take this opportunity to invite her to pay an official visit to the Republic of Armenia.

Question – Public TV of Armenia – My question is addressed to both Prime Ministers. Mr. Prime Minister, yesterday and today you reaffirmed that despite the problems observed in the external environment, we have adopted the policy of opening a peaceful era for our region. How do you consider it possible if one of the countries in the region, Azerbaijan, continues making provocations at the border, put forward preconditions, and does not fulfill the points of the November 9 declaration, continuing holding Armenians as hostages and captives? And what is the position of Lithuania, an EU member state, for the establishment of lasting peace in the South Caucasus?

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan – Thank you. In my speech, I touched upon all the issues raised by you; I think that, as I have already mentioned, we should be consistent in the agenda we have adopted, and also provide details on our ideas on the solution of all the issues. I want to emphasize that the opening of regional communications is very important in this regard. I must emphasize that I have had the opportunity to say in the past that we should embrace such scenarios of unblocking the communications, which should not deepen the isolation of the peoples and countries of the region from each other, but, on the contrary, should create conditions for their peaceful coexistence. I am pleased to note that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have, in fact, begun to intensify their activities. I must state that I consider the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in New York positive.

We have expressed our readiness to start the process of demarcation and delimitation of the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which, in my opinion, should start upon the creation of the necessary conditions for that.

Of course, the swift return of captives, hostages and other detainees is a very important issue. Yesterday, during a meeting with representatives of our community, I had the opportunity to say that, as I have stated before, I am ready to meet with the president of Azerbaijan, particularly, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. Azerbaijan raises the issue of maps of minefields posing a humanitarian threat. We have handed over some of the maps, and as I said yesterday, ahead of that potential meeting, I am ready to take with me all the maps of the minefirlds, which pose a humanitarian threat, but have no security function for us. I hope that the president of Azerbaijan, in his turn, will bring with him, literally or figuratively, the prisoners, hostages and other detainees kept in Azerbaijan. By the way, here we mean not only those whose fact of captivity has been officially confirmed, but also our citizens who, according to our information, are in Azerbaijan, but the fact of their captivity has not been confirmed.

It is not easy to implement the agenda of opening an era of peaceful development, but on the other hand, I think that there is no alternative to peace, and we must step by step make that agenda a reality. Thank you.

Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė – Thank you. I don’t have much to add. I think that everyone, including us, hopes that it will be possible to return to the political settlement of the conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

It is nice to hear that there have been some positive changes. The Prime Minister mentioned the meeting of the ministers. I think this is not the only positive event. At EU level, we have a number of political leaders who think more closely and sincerely about security and peace in the region. I believe that the European Union will pay enough attention to this issue, and with practical advice and solutions will assist the settlement of the conflict.

Question – representative of the Lithuanian media - The president of Azerbaijan has expressed a desire to meet with you as soon as possible, and you say that you are ready to meet with him. When do you expect such a meeting to take place? Where do you expect it to take place?

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - I think we have no time or place limits, because the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have a practice of organizing such meetings. The only logical limitation is that those meetings take place in the territory of third countries.

In fact, my readiness is not new, because in the recent months I have welcomed several times the statements of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on the peaceful and comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles and elements put on the table by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. We have been ready for that meeting, I mean it is not the first time that we have stated about it and I hope that under the co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group it will be possible to intensify the efforts aimed at the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Of course, I want to emphasize that we are cooperating even now, we have a trilateral working group co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, which was formed on the basis of the trilateral statement of January 11. Let me remind that this statement is about the opening of transport and economic communications in the region, which in turn emerges from the 9th point of the November 9 statement, the core of which is that all infrastructural, transport and economic communications in the region should be opened. Unfortunately, so far they have not been opened, because there is a problem. Sometimes comments are made that go beyond this logic of this statement.

Logically, the existing railways and roads between Armenia and Azerbaijan should have been opened or be on the threshold of opening now. I hope that we will be able to make progress in this issue as well, but in the context of all this, I want to emphasize that the humanitarian aspect is again clearly stated in the November 9 declaration, according to which prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees should have been returned by now, but unfortunately they are not returned.

I think that the return of prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees will create a certain positive background, against which the negotiations on the demarcation and delimitation of the borders, the opening of regional communications, the comprehensive and political settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict will have the chances to be more effective. Thank you.

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The official visit of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to Lithuania continues. The Head of the Government met with Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen.

The interlocutors highlighted the development and strengthening of the cooperation between the parliaments of the two countries in terms of both bilateral relations and cooperation in the international organizations. Nikol Pashinyan and Ms. Čmilytė-Nielsen also emphasized the importance of inter-parliamentary ties which can contribute to the deepening of friendly ties between the two countries, exchange of experience in the direction of improvement of the legal field.

The sides also touched upon the ongoing democratic reforms in Armenia in various spheres and the partnership for their effective implementation.

The Speaker of Seimas of Lithuania said her country is ready to closely cooperate in the sidelines of the EU’s Eastern Partnership program and stated that ahead of the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in December, the Lithuanian side will take necessary actions to provide support to Armenia.

At the end of the meeting PM Pashinyan left a note in the Honorary guest book of the Seimas, got acquainted with the materials presented at an exhibition dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Armenian-Lithuanian relations about the history of the Armenian people covered by the Lithuanian press in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Antakalnis Military Cemetery in Vilnius, where he honored the memory of those fallen for Lithuania's independence.

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the USAD waste recycling plant in Vilnius, got acquainted with the process of waste recycling using modern technologies. The management of the factory presented the raw materials obtained from waste recycling to the Prime Minister.

The leadership of the company expressed readiness to share their experience and provide technical assistance to the Armenian side in implementing such programs.

Prime Minister Pashinyan highlighted the cooperation with Lithuanian partners in the field of waste recycling, noting that Lithuania's experience and example in this field can be useful for the Armenian Government.

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is on an official visit in Lithuania, visited Eastern Europe Studies Center in Vilnius and met with representatives of the expert community.

The Prime Minister first referred to the processes taking place in our country and in the South Caucasus region. In particular, Nikol Pashinyan noted that the early parliamentary elections in Armenia in June served for the first time in the history of our Republic as a tool to overcome the domestic political crisis.

"Usually the elections in our country have caused domestic political crises, perhaps the most noisy domestic political problems in the history of our country have emerged in post-election periods. This is the first time that elections have become a tool to overcome the crisis, not a cause of crises. After the war, there were serious discussions about how appropriate the parliamentary system is for Armenia. There were really reasons for that, but I must say that this election was described by international observers as free, competitive and democratic for the second time in a row, which is also unprecedented”, the Head of the Government said.

According to Nikol Pashinyan, these elections, which took place in the post-war period, generated some important political content. “After the war, it was important to set the guidelines in which Armenia should move. I must admit that the answers to these questions in the political field were not fully formulated, but the recent elections generated a specific political content. At least for our political force, it was not so much a political campaign as a dialogue with the citizens, where they were not only listeners, but also speakers. We were the ones to listen to what citizens thought about our history of the last 30 years. It was at this point, that the strategy which the Government of the Republic of Armenia included in its Action Plan was formulated. We describe it as a need to open an era of peaceful development for Armenia and the region’’, the PM said, adding that it is also subject to criticism, which is comprehendible.

"Because developments take place every day, which, by and large, cast doubt on to what extent peace is possible in our region, or due to the situation we have in our region, over the conflict around the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

There is also a bigger question: to what extent is democracy able to ensure security and peaceful development? But our position is clear that in spite of all the circumstances that question the competitiveness of the peace agenda, we must move consistently forward in that direction.

We believe that the policy of small steps should be adopted without rushing to set insurmountable benchmarks. On the other hand, concrete results and processes are needed. In this regard, we consider the resumption of the peace process within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs’ format for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict necessary," Prime Minister Pashinyan underlined.

Afterwards, the Prime Minister answered numerous questions of the experts related to the prospects of peace in the South Caucasus, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process, the implementation of democratic reforms in Armenia, the development of Armenia-EU relations and a number of other topics.

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Head of the Government of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė attended a concert in Kaunas dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Armenia's independence and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Armenian-Lithuanian diplomatic relations, performed by Kaunas State Philharmonic.

The official visit of Prime Minister Pashinyan to the Republic of Lithuania is completed.

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