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Official News

Thursday, 17 February 2005


Today RA Prime Minister A. Margaryan has received the delegation headed by Mr. Serguey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, who is in Armenia on official visit.


In welcoming the delegation, the Prime Minister has expressed the hope that this visit of the Russian Foreign Minister and the upcoming arrival of President Putin would be a further strong impetus for the development of the cooperation between our two countries. Noting that Russia was Armenia's largest economic partner and the existing solid legal framework between the two countries (over 160 interstate and intergovernmental instruments) made it possible to expand the cooperation in several directions, the parties mentioned at the same time that there was a clear need in signing new documents or re-considering the existing ones so as to bring them into conformity with the latest developments and international standards. Mr. Margaryan and Mr. Lavrov indicated that there still remained a number of problems faced on the way to developing bilateral economic ties. These problems were addressed on a regular basis by the Armenian-Russian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation, as well as by the Armenian-Russian Business Association as established in 2004, the activities of which were given a very high appreciation. In this context, the Prime Minister stressed the necessity in an expedited re-commissioning with increased capacity of the enterprises handed over to Russia under the Property for Debt agreement. The parties also emphasized the importance of establishing closer ties of cooperation between various administrative units of the two countries, as well as the necessity of enhancing the overall trade turnover and the level of involvement of Russian business interests in the Armenian economy. With reference to the cooperation in the field of transport communication, the head of the Armenian government emphasized the priority given to the opening of Caucasus-Poti transit ferryway, which would help increase the traffic of goods between the two countries. Mr. Margaryan expressed his satisfaction of the fact that the process of Armenia's accession to the agreement on the North-South international transport corridor had been completed. At the same time, he indicated that against the background of the already existing communication routes across Armenia, the Armenian side had serious concerns about the possibility of commissioning the new Ghazvin-Resht-Astara railway line. Appreciative of the views expressed by Mr. A. Margaryan, Mr. Lavrov noted that the program of events to be held in Armenia within the framework of the Days of Russia was supposed to go far beyond the mere scope of culture and humanities to include a wide range of economic and business affairs with an active involvement of the respective chambers of commerce and industry and other relevant structures. Mr. Lavrov re-affirmed that the Russian side was doing its utmost to ensure that the enterprises and R&D institutes forwarded to his country, inclusive of MARS company in particular, were provided adequate investment necessary for their smooth operations in future. Similarly, he prioritized the timely provision of nuclear fuel for the ANPP and the activities aiming its modernization. With reference to regional transport-related issues, Mr. Lavrov said that Russia would a take a maximum care of Armenia's interests and would do nothing in circumvention thereof. Mr. Lavrov further stated that he was going to convey the concerns expressed by the Armenian Prime Minister to Russia's Transport Minister Igor Levitin and the President of Russian Railways OJSC Gennady Fadeyev. As far as the opening of Caucasus-Poti ferryway was concerned, which had been agreed in the relevant agreement signed with the government of Georgia, the Russian Foreign Minister said that Armenia, too, would soon avail itself of the positive impact thereof.


With regard to regional issues, the interlocutors appeared to share the view that the boosting of economic cooperation and the establishment of safe and stable communication routes would go a long way towards building confidence between the nations of the region and settling the existing conflicts, including the Karabakh one.


During the meeting, views have also been exchanged on the eventual re-commissioning of the Abkhazian stretch of the Georgian railway line, as well as on other issues of mutual interest.

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