Lavrov hails ‘allied and strategic’ partnership with Armenia

Relations between Russia and Armenia are relations of alliance and strategic partnership, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Armenian media.

“These terms are formalized in bilateral agreements and in documents of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). These relations cover all the spheres of activity of the countries, and all areas of life of our peoples, from security and foreign policy to culture, the economy, technology, humanitarian contacts, education and many others. In the past 10 years, our bilateral relations have developed under the influence of direct, trust-based contacts between our Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsyan. Several times a year, they hold top-level meetings in Armenia and Russia and communicate on the sidelines of numerous international forums,” Lavrov said.

He emphasized  that Armenia joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which gave a boost to trade, economic and investment cooperation. “Suffice to say that last year, trade between Russia and Armenia increased by over 30 per cent as compared to 2016 and reached, if I am not mistaken, $1.75 billion. It is a very large sum, not to mention the fact that hundreds of companies with Russian participation – be it Russian or joint Russian-Armenian companies – operate in Armenia and benefit our relations and the economy of our ally.”

“Military-technical cooperation is traditionally very intensive. In addition to the Intergovernmental Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation, which is very active, we have a commission for military-technical cooperation. The commissions are operating well and producing good results,” he added.

“Cultural cooperation has always been appreciated by our peoples. I can mention the Days of Armenian Culture in Russia last autumn, the opening of which in November 2017 was attended by both presidents,” Minister Lavrov noted.

“As for education, the Russian-Armenian (Slavic) University operates in Yerevan. The university and eight branches of Russian institutions of higher learning in Armenia accommodate some 3,500 Armenian citizens and provide Russian higher education programmes. Moreover, 5,500 Armenians study in Russia, with 1,500 of them using the state scholarships provided by the Russian Government,” he noted.

“Our bilateral relations have witnessed very stable and high quality growth over the past 10 years. It is complemented by close cooperation in foreign policy. We are allies within the CSTO. I already mentioned the EAEU, of which Armenia is now a full member. The CIS, of course, is relevant too, as well as our coordinated actions in the UN, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation,” the Foreign Minister said.

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