Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's working visit to the Russian Federation
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, together with his wife Anna Hakobyan, arrived in the Russian Federation on a working visit
Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Galuzin met the Prime Minister at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport.
On May 25, the Prime Minister will participate in the regular session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Moscow.
In the sidelines of the visit, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A tripartite meeting of the Prime Minister of Armenia, the President of the Russian Federation and the President of Azerbaijan is also scheduled.
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated in the jubilee 30th session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Moscow. The Presidents of the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan also took part in the narrow-format session of the event.
The President of Azerbaijan took part in the extended-format session as a guest, and the leaders of the EAEU observer countries - Uzbekistan, Cuba, as well as the President of Tajikistan as a guest, participated remotely.
In his speech at the narrow-format session, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, noted that during the previous year, the largest economic growth in the area of the Eurasian Economic Union was recorded by Armenia - 12.6 percent. In turn, Prime Minister Pashinyan added that during the first four months of this year, a 12.1 percent increase in economic activity was recorded in the Republic of Armenia.
In his speech at the extended-format session, Nikol Pashinyan specifically stated,
“Dear Heads of State,
Dear members of delegations,
I am glad to welcome you at this year’s first meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council
Let me to thank the presiding party and personally the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for the traditional hospitality and the high-level organization of the thirtieth jubilee session of the Supreme Council.
At the narrow-format meeting, we had a thorough exchange of views on key issues of the agenda, and I would like to briefly touch on some of the issues relevant to the Union.
Strengthening the potential of national economies is conditioned also by a competent approach to ensuring energy security.
As has been repeatedly noted, the timely launch of the EAEU common gas market will contribute to the formation of favorable and mutually beneficial terms of trade, will ensure an increase in energy security, the level of economic integration and competitiveness of the Union Member States in the international market.
In this context, the Armenian side is ready for a constructive dialogue with the aim of reaching a consensus on outstanding issues as soon as possible.
Thanks to the great work done by the Commission and the authorized bodies of the Union Member States, we have managed to record significant progress in the development of a regulatory framework for the creation of a new format for financing industrial cooperative projects.
Financial assistance to joint cooperative projects in the field of industry will provide us with the opportunity to stimulate individual economic sectors of our countries.
At the same time, we attach importance to their balanced development in order to minimize the risks that imply stagnation or a decrease in activity in other economic sectors of the EAEU Member States.
Therefore, at the stage of project selection, it is important to develop mechanisms that eliminate these risks, which will give us a long-term perspective for such projects.
Let me note that one of the important aspects of cooperation between our countries is food security, which is aimed at ensuring the availability and quality of food for the population, as well as protecting the market from low-quality and dangerous products.
Today, the need to form a collective system for ensuring food security has sharply increased. I consider it obvious that there is a need to consolidate the efforts of the EAEU countries in this direction.
It is gratifying that, using various formats of cooperation, in 2022 we made systematic efforts to form a mutually beneficial partnership outside the Union, as evidenced by the information presented in the reports on the main directions of EAEU international activity and approaches to the development of trade and economic cooperation with the main partners of the Union in the medium term.
Given the high dynamics of the development of cooperation with Iran, the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement and its further implementation are a priority for us in the context of the real expansion of trade cooperation with third countries.
The continuation of the work in such priority and promising negotiation directions as India and Egypt, as well as the development of a comprehensive dialogue on the economic agenda and the deepening of trade and economic cooperation with the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia will provide an additional impetus to the process of integration of the Union into the world economy.
Despite the achieved results, based on the current realities, it is necessary to swiftly create effective mechanisms of interaction with partners from third countries, which will consistently lead to the creation of conditions for the sustainable development of the economies of our countries.
Dear participants of the session,
Obviously, effective planning of steps to develop a common economic space implies an open dialogue with entrepreneurs and representatives of business circles.
In this context, I would like to highlight the holding of the Eurasian Economic Forum and, taking this opportunity, once again thank the Russian side for organizing large-scale events and for efforts to develop discussion topics that maximally cover topical areas of interaction within the EAEU.
The forum attracts leading political figures and leaders of business, cultural and other circles of the societies of the member states, becoming a key platform for the formation of promising ideas and projects, a platform for discussions around topical issues.
In conclusion, I would like to once again confirm the readiness of the Armenian side for the consistent implementation of joint projects aimed at reaching mutually acceptable solutions on important issues of the functioning of our integration union.
Thank you for attention”.
During the session, issues related to the development of cooperation in various fields within the framework of EAEU were discussed.
In his speech, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev used the wording "Zangezur Corridor", to which Prime Minister Pashinyan responded. "In his speech, the president of Azerbaijan used an expression that has been used in recent years as a title for making territorial claims against Armenia. I would like to note that this is used in the framework of the implementation of point 9 of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020.
I would like to emphasize that the Declaration mentions only one corridor, and it is the Lachin corridor, which was supposed to be under the control of Russian peacekeepers, but, unfortunately, is illegally blocked by Azerbaijan. On the other hand, I want to confirm the readiness of the Republic of Armenia to unblock all transport and economic connections and communications in the region that pass through the territory of the Republic of Armenia - we call it the "Armenian Crossroads" and we are ready to open regional communications within the framework of the sovereignty and jurisdiction of those countries through which they pass. I mean the transport and economic communications mentioned in point 9 of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020 and the trilateral statement of January 11, 2021."
Prime Minister Pashinyan emphasized that those who are familiar with the text of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020, know that there is only one use of the word "corridor" in it. "And in this context, this word has a special meaning, and it is the Lachin Corridor, which, I repeat, according to the trilateral declaration, should be under the control of the Russian Federation and provide a connection between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. But, unfortunately, in the presence of Russian peacekeepers, Azerbaijan illegally closed this corridor. On the other hand, I would like to confirm that Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed on mutual recognition of each other's territorial integrity. And on this basis, yes, it can be said that we are going quite well in the direction of normalizing our relations.
In this context, I would also like to mention a very important issue, the issue of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno Karabakh within the framework of the international mechanism. I hope that soon a normal constructive dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert will begin," said the Prime Minister.
Referring to Aliyev's statement that Russia also supports the idea of Zangezur Corridor, Nikol Pashinyan noted: "It is very interesting to know that Russia supports the project you mentioned. To be honest, this is the first time I have heard about it.
I know that Russia supports the opening of all transport and economic communications in our region. You said "Lachin road", but according to our trilateral declaration, "Lachin road" does not exist, there is a corridor which, according to the trilateral declaration signed by three of us, should be under the control of Russian peacekeeping forces, that is, no one else should exercise any control of this corridor.
And what is happening there is a direct violation of the trilateral declaration. And you said that the corridor is open, but we don't see it, we don't think so. Therefore, we consider it important that an international fact-finding mission be sent to both the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno Karabakh to assess the humanitarian situation in Nagorno Karabakh.
And I must say that, unfortunately, we have a humanitarian crisis there since December, because due to the closure of the Lachin corridor, obstacles are created for the supply of food and other necessities. And this is a very serious situation. Gas and electricity have also been blocked by Azerbaijan. I mean the gas and electricity going to Nagorno Karabakh. And, Vladimir Vladimirovich, you know about it very well, because we have talked about this many times."
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The meeting of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin took place in the Kremlin.
In his speech, Vladimir Putin said:
Dear Nikol Vovaevich,
Once again, I warmly welcome you all to Moscow, Russia.
Thank you for actively participating in today's meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. We have already talked about this, this whole event, in my opinion, passed at the level we had hoped for, we talked to each other very frankly about many points.
We are also grateful that you agreed to the presence of the President of Azerbaijan at this event. I think that in any case, from the point of view of the development of regional economic relations, it is useful, it creates an additional platform and an opportunity for dialogue in those areas that leave no room for doubt.
Bilateral cooperation in various fields continues to develop actively. I would like to mention that our trade turnover is confidently showing a positive trend. Last year, it grew by more than 83 percent and reached 5 billion USD. In January-March of this year, it increased by another 1.5 billion. If this process develops at this rate, then we will definitely beat the previous year's record as well.
As for the sensitive issues related to the Karabakh settlement, we once again discussed all this face to face with Prime Minister Nikol Vovaevich Pashinyan. We will still have the opportunity to talk in a trilateral format about the issues of unblocking transport links. The issues are very important and sensitive. I am sure that if in the end, despite all the difficulties, we reach the solution of these issues, then it will undoubtedly be beneficial for both Armenia and Azerbaijan, and not only the two countries, but also the entire region, because many states are interested in it, and it will contribute to the normalization of relations in all directions, including political, in terms of ensuring the security of people living in that area.
We are very happy that today we have the opportunity to meet not only face to face, but also in a wider format. I'm sure it will be helpful”.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said,
"I am very grateful, Vladimir Vladimirovich. Thanks again for the warm welcome.
Indeed, the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council was held at a high level. We discussed a wide range of issues.
As for economic dynamics, you are right: everything is at least not bad in the Eurasian Economic Union.
In the regional sense, of course, we have a rather tense situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, in the Lachin Corridor, we talked about that many times today. Unfortunately, despite the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020, Azerbaijan has illegally blocked the Lachin Corridor, due to which Nagorno-Karabakh has appeared in a humanitarian crisis. You know that the supply of natural gas and electricity to Nagorno Karabakh has also been stopped, blocked by Azerbaijan, which further aggravates the humanitarian situation in Nagorno Karabakh. The supply of food and goods to Nagorno Karabakh has become complicated. Of course, the Russian peacekeepers support in this issue, but unfortunately, as I said, the blocking of the Lachin corridor took place in the presence of the Russian peacekeepers.
Today we discussed the issues related to the unblocking of regional communications in a working mode. I would like to reaffirm once again that Armenia is really interested in this, we are ready to start unblocking all transport and economic links and communications based on the sovereignty and jurisdiction of our country. I want to confirm this position once again. I would like to confirm that we are ready, both border services and customs services are ready to ensure the normal passage of all means of transport, railways through the territory of Armenia.
We expect that the Azerbaijani railway will also be open for the transportation of goods from the Republic of Armenia through Nakhichevan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, for example, to the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran. We expect this issue to be resolved on a parity basis, as I said, based on the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the countries."
Summing up, Vladimir Putin added,
“Dear Nikol Vovaevich,
You know our position regarding our trilateral declaration, regarding the Lachin Corridor. We have never changed our position on this matter. And you know that in our discussions with our Armenian friends and with Azerbaijan, we have always been faithful and we are faithful to this very position now. Everything should be in accordance with the spirit and letter of our trilateral declaration. Our position here has not changed.
Regarding the possible construction of transport routes, communications, both railways and highways, our position on unblocking is also unchanged. And now, during the bilateral contact with the Azerbaijani delegation, we said about this.
But it should be noted that the Azerbaijani side also confirms that Azerbaijan does not have any changes in this matter, they recognize without any exception the full sovereignty of Armenia over this area, and sort of double, triple interpretations of all this, related to the possible unblocking of transport communication, are groundless.
However, there are issues, you just mentioned them, I think they are related to the terminology. I think we can talk about this in more detail."
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The meeting of the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev took place in the Kremlin.
Issues related to the unblocking of regional transport and economic infrastructures were discussed.
An agreement was reached to continue the work after a week, within the framework of the meeting of the deputy prime ministers of the three countries.