Nikol Pashinyan and Mikhail Mishustin meet in Sochi
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has arrived in the Russian Federation on a working visit, where the narrow-format session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council is taking place today.
Prior to that, Prime Minister Pashinyan had a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Mishustin.
In his speech, the Russian Prime Minister noted,
"Dear Nikol Vovaevich, dear partners, I am glad to welcome you in Sochi, Russian Federation. First of all, I want to convey to you the best wishes and greetings of Russian President Vladimir Putin, I also want to convey my warmest wishes to Armenian President Vahagn Garnikovich Khachaturyan.
We sincerely value our brotherly relations, they are allied and strategic in nature. Today, the trade-economic and investment cooperation between Russia and Armenia is developing actively and dynamically, despite the illegal economic sanctions adopted by a number of unfriendly countries. In January-April, mutual trade turnover increased by 96 percent and amounted to almost 140 billion rubles, or more than 660 billion Armenian drams. Of course, it is important to maintain this positive dynamic and reach new record indicators in mutual trade.
More than 4,500 companies with Russian capital are successfully operating in Armenia, the investments made exceed the total volume of foreign investments in the Armenian economy by 46 percent. It is necessary to use the available opportunities to increase trade, investments, and of course our joint intergovernmental commission is dealing with this issue, it is headed by Alexey Overchuk from the Russian side. The work is organized on the basis of the intergovernmental program of economic cooperation for the period until 2025. I would like to thank you, dear Mr. Grigoryan, and all colleagues for your active work in the commission. We are in constant contact, we meet, and the increase in trade turnover is also the result of the efficient work of the commission.
We are interested in the implementation of new joint projects in the fields of energy, industry, agriculture. Russian companies are ready to offer modern solutions, including in the field of e-government, construction of a safe and smart city, transport infrastructure and a number of other projects.
We pay great attention to the interregional cooperation with Armenia, more than seven dozen subjects of the Russian Federation are working now, they are in direct contact with the regions and subjects of Armenia. Last year, 24 business missions were organized in Armenia with the participation of representatives of Russian regions. It is important to expand and create new cooperation ties.
Russia and Armenia work effectively in the Eurasian Economic Union and the Organization of Commonwealth of Independent States. I am confident that the decisions we will take here in Sochi will give new impetus to economic integration.
According to the agreement of the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, we are conducting systematic work in the direction of unblocking the economic and transport infrastructures in the South Caucasus, the creation of new infrastructure directions is in the interests of all the countries of the region.
Dear Nikol Vovaevich, we have a full agenda and I want to give the floor to you. Thank you."
In turn, Prime Minister Pashinyan noted: "Thank you Mikhail Vladimirovich, dear colleagues, I welcome you, I am very glad to see you.
You already said a lot about our economic ties, we really have very good dynamics and I am glad that Russian business is doing well in the Republic of Armenia. I remember last year we discussed how to activate economic ties and when I look at the results, I find that many things we talked about and agreed upon have already been implemented, for which I am very happy.
There is quite considerable investment activity, mutual trade is growing, it is growing very well, and this, by the way, helps the economy of Armenia because we have quite good economic activity. Now it is already summer period and we are a little worried about the capacity of the customs office of Upper Lars. I know that the Russian side is carrying out major restoring works there. I hope in the near future, this month, or could you specify when these works are planned to be completed? This is very important information not only for Armenia, but also for Russia. And this is also an important nuance that will greatly encourage the further development of our economic relations.
You already mentioned the tripartite working group on unblocking economic and transport communication in the region. It can be said that during the last meeting, quite tangible progress was noticed. And I am very happy about that, and I want to express once again the readiness of the Republic of Armenia to open regional and economic transport communications within the framework of the principle of sovereignty and jurisdiction of the parties through which these communications pass. This refers to the communications mentioned in point 9 of the trilateral declaration of the Presidents of the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia. And I hope that we will be able to reach concrete solutions.
We have put forward our specific proposals, and I hope that these proposals will be accepted. In principle, it is not the case that these are our proposals, this is a compromise solution that we have worked out over the last two years.
I welcome you once again and I am sure that today we will be able to discuss all issues very effectively”.
Responding, Mikhail Mishustin noted: "Dear Nikol Vovaevich, yesterday, before the meeting with you, I met with the Minister of Transport Vitaly Gennadyevich Savelyev. We discussed in detail, including the issues of the Upper Lars checkpoint. He promised to complete all the works by June 15. As I understand, we are talking about four more roads and, accordingly, yesterday he presented the progress of the works. If Ruslan Davydov has something to add, please, you are welcome. He is the acting head of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation."
Ruslan Davydov - "Thank you, dear Mikhail Vladimirovich, Nikol Vovaevich. Indeed, both Customs and Border Services are doing their best to maintain capacity during the reconstruction. The daily figure is about 1000 vehicles in both directions. It is clear that we need to reach at least one and a half thousand so that there are no queues at all. We expect from the Ministry of Transport, they really promise us that these roads will be ready by June 15. If these lanes are in place, I think within a week we will eliminate traffic jams to zero."
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin - "Look, they should do it by June 15, and by June 22, Davydov should make sure that there are no traffic jams. Agreed".
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - "This is very good news, because, to tell the truth, it is hard to believe that such a thing is possible, that there will be no jams at all in the Upper Lars.”
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin - "Now we discussed everything in public."
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - "Not only did we discuss, but you already promised. This means that it must be done. Thank you very much".
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin - "No doubt. We took a look yesterday, including photos from the facilities, of what's going on there. Our colleagues there work very hard. I hope that everything will be done as we agreed."
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - "Excuse me, how much will the capacity increase after the reconstruction?"
Ruslan Davydov - "There will be 39 traffic lanes, 15 of which are for cargo transportation. As I already said, before the reconstruction we reached a record of 1,200 trucks and 3,500 passenger cars per day in both directions. Now we expect that if it was 1200, then the cargo transportation index should reach 1500 per day. In fact, the Upper Lars, even in the conditions of renovation and reconstruction, is the most active checkpoint in general.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - "I am very grateful to Mikhail Vladimirovich. I know that if you promise something, it happens, and I am very happy about it. Thank you very much".