Nikol Pashinyan, Mikhail Mishustin meet in Kazan
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On April 29, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan left for Kazan to attend a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council. Nikol Pashinyan met with RF Premier Mikhail Mishustin in Kazan.
Greeting Nikol Pashinyan, Mikhail Mishustin said:
“ Nikol Vovayevich,
I am delighted to see you in the Russian Federation, in Kazan, the capital city of Tatarstan, for a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council.
First of all, I would like to convey warms greetings and best regards from President of Russia Vladimir Putin.
We value our fraternal relations with Armenia, our allied and strategic relations that go back decades. Next year we will celebrate 30 years of our diplomatic relations and 25 years of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with Armenia.
The measures that the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia adopted after the end of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh on 9 November 2020 and 11 January 2021 offered broad opportunities for join activities. We should begin by unblocking all economic and transport communications and creating new infrastructure routes. This will create conditions for the sustainable development of the South Caucasus.
Russia is helping. We are providing extensive humanitarian assistance. The Interdepartmental Humanitarian Response Centre is working to create conditions for the return of refugees to their homes and the subsequent restoration of the infrastructure.
Russia remains the leading partner of Armenia. Our joint companies are implementing ambitious economic projects. Regrettably, COVID-19 had an adverse impact on the dynamics of our bilateral trade turnover: last year it declined by approximately 10 percent to some USD2.3 billion. This is definitely not good enough. I suggest instructing our intergovernmental commission – the Russian co-chair is Alexei Overchuk, who you know very well – to work out new initiatives aimed at boosting trade and mutual investment with Armenia.
We are also working together energetically to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have sent test kits and reagents to Armenia, and now we are sending supplies of the Sputnik V vaccine.
I would like to thank you for using the Travelling without COVID-19 mobile application, created by the Eurasian Development Bank, for trips by Armenian citizens to Russia. This is a very positive trend. After all, we are simplifying the travel procedure for our citizens to travel between our countries.
We are also working closely within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. The four freedoms – the free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce – are on our agenda. I am confident that the deepening of Eurasian integration is in the best interests of citizens and businesses in Russia and Armenia.
Mr Pashinyan, I am prepared to discuss with you topical issues, including our bilateral agenda. Please, you have the floor.”
Thankful for the warm welcome, Nikol Pashinyan said:
I am very glad to meet with you today. This is my first time in Tatarstan. We all know that this is one of Russia’s most significant and developed regions.
I am convinced that effective decisions will be made and meaningful discussions will take place during our talks at the meeting of the EAEU Intergovernmental Council.
As you mentioned above, our bilateral relations are making good, steady progress. The strategic relationship between the Russian Federation and Armenia is deepening. It is easy to see that our bilateral relations have intensified, and this is a very good factor for regional stability.
I would like to make special mention of the role that Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin played in ending the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. I wish to emphasize and it seems to be obvious that the Russian peacekeepers’ efforts in Nagorno-Karabakh are highly effective.
You were right to state that as headed by the deputy prime ministers of the Russian Federation, Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Trilateral Commission is already working. We abide by constructive approaches in this regard. But I want to note that, unfortunately, Azerbaijan has not yet fulfilled a very important clause of the November 9 Statement signed by the President of Russia, the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Azerbaijan. I mean the return of prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees. I would like to thank the Russian Federation for the effort it is putting in to resolve this issue.
We highly appreciate the work done by the Trilateral Commission, since the opening of regional transport corridors can bring about drastic changes in the economic situation in our region, in general, and help deepen economic integration between the Russian Federation and Armenia, in particular. In this regard, I would like to highlight the extremely important and constructive role played by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk.
We very much appreciate their efforts, and I hope that this work will lead to specific results. It is clear to everyone that this is important for the region in a broader sense, because here we are talking about restoring ties between the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Russian Federation. This may be a powerful economic factor for the development of the Eurasian Economic Union.
I wish to once again emphasize that we are constructive in this matter, and I hope that the ongoing activities will lead to concrete results that will bring stability, peace and prosperity to our region.”
Nikol Pashinyan and Mikhail Mishustin referred to the post-war situation around Nagorno-Karabakh and humanitarian issues. The repatriation of Armenian prisoners of war was touched upon during the conversation. The parties discussed the agenda of Armenian-Russian strategic relations in both bilateral and multilateral formats. They also touched upon the trends of economic interaction and the intensification of trade turnover. Prospects for expanding cooperation in healthcare, tourism, infrastructure and other spheres of mutual interest were discussed in this context.
The interlocutors briefed each other on the respective steps taken to overcome the global pandemic and the pace of economic recovery. The issue of purchasing new lots of Russian vaccine was raised. Reference was made to the possibility of boosting tourist flows between the two countries.