ArmInfo. The relations between Armenia and Russia are very deep and multi-layered, and friendship goes back in centuries, it is strengthened by joint victories and trust. Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan stated this at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on November 11.
At the same time, the Armenian minister stated that this is the first visit of his Russian counterpart to Yerevan during his tenure. "The agenda of our bilateral relations is very rich. It is a great honor for us that Lavrov in Yerevan took part in the opening of the exhibition dedicated to the contribution of the Armenian people to the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. This exhibition marks the beginning of events in Armenia dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Victory," the Armenian minister said.
Speaking about the Armenian-Russian relations in general, Mnatsakanyan emphasized that relations cover all sectors, both in bilateral and multilateral formats, on the platforms of international structures, such as the CSTO, CIS, EAEU, within the framework of legislative bodies and intergovernmental commissions. "Russia is the number one economic partner for Armenia, and the volume of trade between our countries has grown by almost 18% compared to last year. Decentralized cooperation is also actively developing," the Armenian Foreign Minister emphasized. At the same time, Mnatsakanyan indicated active interaction on international platforms, such as the UN, OSCE, CE, BSEC, where positions on various issues are adjusted. "In addition to this, a plan of inter-MFA consultations between Armenia and Russia for 2020-21 was signed today. The parties expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the program over the past year," the Armenian minister said.
In the context of the discussion of regional issues, Mnatsakanyan thanked the Russian side for helping our compatriots in Syria and noted the importance of the humanitarian mission of Armenia in the SAR.
"During the meeting, I highly appreciated the role of Russia and other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in the process of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In this context, I would like to note the importance of the April meeting at the level of the Foreign Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia held in Moscow with the mediation of Russia," - the Armenian diplomat said, pointing out the importance of ensuring the rights of the people of Artsakh and their security in finding a comprehensive solution, while stressing that there is no alternative to the peace process.
In his turn, the Russian minister noted the holding of intensive negotiations, which started with a Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and continued at the Armenian Foreign Ministry. Pointing to a wide range of issues on both the bilateral and the multilateral agenda, Lavrov emphasized that Armenia is a tried and tested strategic ally of Russia. According to him, during the talks, the two countries confirmed their commitment to continue a high-level confidential dialogue. Lavrov recalled that this year alone, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met four times with the Prime Minister of Armenia. Additional meetings are coming up, including on the sidelines of the CSTO summit, which will take place this month. Active contacts occur at all levels. A bilateral Inter- Parliamentary Commission was held in Yerevan last week. An interregional forum is being held. The next, already eighth forum, is scheduled for early 2020. In the humanitarian field, we have a cooperation program between the ministries of culture for 2019-2021. In 12 days, the Fifth Russian-Armenian Youth Forum will be held in Moscow, "the Russian minister said. At the same time, Lavrov recalled that Russia is the leading economic partner of Armenia and last year the trade turnover between the two countries recorded 11% growth, and this year the positive dynamics continue. The Russian Foreign Minister also informed that joint projects in the fuel and energy and transport sectors were discussed with Armenian colleagues. "The ties among the regions are developing. More than 70 constituent entities of the Russian Federation are engaged in the process of cooperation. The degree of dynamics in relations is also indicated by the fact that about 6 thousand Armenian citizens receive education in the Russian Federation , including 1.5 from the federal budget. There are 6 branches of Russian universities in Armenia "- the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry said. At the same time, Lavrov also positively assessed the chairmanship of Yerevan in the EAEU. Speaking about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Russian Foreign Minister noted the importance of active efforts aimed at strengthening measures to ease tensions, taking into account existing agreements. "The Russian Federation is ready to continue to provide the most active assistance within the framework of the OSCE and the format of Armenia, the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan," Sergey Lavrov concluded.