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Armenian-Russian high-level talks in Yerevan; energy, military ties in the spotlight

Karen Ghazaryan
Public Radio of Armenia

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan held talks in Yerevan with visiting Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The meeting then continued in expanded format with the two countries’ delegations taking part.

The subjects on the agenda included continued development of the two countries’ strategic partnership, trade and economic relations and humanitarian cooperation, the outlook for Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union and Common Economic Space.

A number of documents were signed between the parties. In particular, Russia and Armenia signed an intergovernmental agreement to cancel export duties for supplies of natural gas, oil products and diamonds.

An intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear safety, a plan of action for economic collaboration and other deals were also signed following talks between the two presidents. The results of the talks were summed up at a joint press conference.

The Russian President spoke about the frequent bellicose statements on the part of Azerbaijan. He clarified how Russia, as Armenia’s strategic partner, will react should Azerbaijan realize the threats.

“Then the conditions for peaceful settlement will be reduced, and the other means for resolving the conflict will be reinforced,” Putin said, adding that they want no bloodshed in the region close to the Russian border.

According to the President, it would be counterproductive to speak about what Russia will do if war resumes. “We must try to solve all disputable issues exceptionally in a political, diplomatic way. That’s what we’ll be aspiring for,” he said.

The two Presidents hailed the positive changes in the attitude of the EU and the United States towards Iran’s nuclear programs. Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan noted that thousands of Iranian tourists visit our country annually and added that “we’ll only benefit from the normalization of relations.

Vladimir Putin said, in turn, that Russia welcomes the nuclear deal on Iran. “This complex issue should be solved on the basis of international law and norms with Iran being granted the right to develop peaceful nuclear energy, of course, on condition that the security of all countries of the region will be guaranteed.

Speaking about Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union, Vladimir Putin mentioned no concrete dates, adding that it depends not only on Russia, but also the other members of the CU.  However, everything has been done for the Armenian economy to be ready for accession, he said, adding that Russia is doing its best to have Armenia join the Union as soon as possible.

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