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Official News

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Prime Minister Attends Opening of 4th Armenian-Russian Interregional Conference










Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan and RF Federal Assembly Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko attended today the opening of the 4th Armenian-Russian interregional conference at Yerevan Expo exhibition center. The conference is entitled “Armenia-Russia: Eurasian Economic Union: New Prospects for Interregional Cooperation.”

The forum participants first observed a minute of silence to pay tribute to the passengers of the Sharm el-Sheikh-St. Petersburg flight, who were killed in the air crash of October 31, as well as to the victims of the Moscow-Yerevan bus crash that took place near Uzlovsk town of Tula Region on November 3, 2015.

RA President Serzh Sargsyan and RF President Vladimir Putin had addressed the forum with greeting messages, which were read out by Chief of RA Presidential Staff Vigen Sargsyan and RF Federal Assembly Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko respectively. Hovik Abrahamyan and Valentina Matvienko addressed the conference with greeting remarks.

Welcoming the participants of the 4th Armenian-Russian interregional conference, Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan stated in part, “Holding the conference on a regular basis has become a good tradition. The forum, which brings together regional leaders, representatives of business circles, public figures, researchers, scholars and intelligentsia, has become an effective platform for consolidating interregional cooperation and holding open debates over a widest range of issues.

I would like to emphasize that these are practical, rather than formal discussions. Interregional ties contribute to the solution of practical issues, stimulating investment and innovation. We can state now that our cooperation in this format is a reality.

The theme of the conference – “Armenia and Russia: Eurasian Economic Union. New prospects for interregional cooperation” - is quite topical. The Economic Union multiplied the overall economic potential of our countries. It seeks to eliminate barriers to mutually beneficial economic cooperation. The already one-year-old Eurasian Economic Union proved to be a promising integration unit, which has great potential to ensure free movement of workforce, goods, services and capital.

Our integration structures provide the necessary prerequisites for further intensification and strengthening of trade and economic relations, but in addition to the signing of framework agreements, we need to take specific initiatives.

Armenia’s government is mindful of developing interregional relations, especially between small and medium-sized businesses. We are facing such issues as the modernization and competitiveness of our national economies and improving the quality of life.

I am convinced that regional cooperation at the level of industrial and commercial activity, as well as education, culture, sport and tourism development will contribute to the expansion of our strategic partnership.

Armenia’s agricultural exports to Russia have increased this year, which points to greater demand for our products on the Russian market.

To uphold this trend, we must do everything to develop mutual investments in logistics and create more favorable conditions for businesses. This is the reason behind our proposal to shift to a simplified VAT refund mechanism.

Energy cooperation is another special item on the conference agenda. We need to enhance energy efficiency and develop alternative sources of energy, think over the possibility of using national currencies as legal tenders in buying and selling energy resources that will considerably reduce volatility in our domestic markets.

The conference will be paying proper attention to cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, which is especially important for brotherly countries.

We believe that interregional cooperation in tourism industry offers quite a high share of unrealized potential. To this end, we have already suggested that Russian citizens could visit Armenia with their internal passports.

In conclusion, I wish all of you fruitful work and further success to the regions for the benefit of the peoples of Armenia and Russia. I am confident that like its predecessors, this conference will bring lead to concrete results for the benefit of our countries and peoples.”

Attended by Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan and Valentina Matvienko, a number of cooperation instruments were signed covering different directions of bilateral cooperation, including the 2015-2017 action plan for implementation of the 2012 agreement on economic, scientific and humanitarian cooperation between Arkhangelsk region of Russia and Vayots Dzor marz of Armenia, a program of joint activities between the Interstate Corporation Development JSC and the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University, a memorandum of intent on the establishment of the Association of Armenian-Russian Higher Educational Institutions, a memorandum of cooperation between Moskvoretski Trade House LLC and Greenhouse Association of Armenia NGO.

Initiated in 2011 by Armenia’s and Russia’s presidencies, the Armenian-Russian interregional forum is supposed to promote bilateral relations in the interregional format. The forum aims to discuss issues related to the deepening and development of cooperation in various fields, promoting interaction between the provinces and regions of Russia and Armenia. The interregional cooperation involves all the provinces of Armenia and over 70 federal units of the Russian Federation.

The preceding forums have helped establish ties between Arkhangelsk region and Vayots-Dzor Marz, Lori Marz and South Caucasian Railway. The two sides are looking at the possibility of launching cooperation between Syunik Marz and Volgograd region, Ararat Marz and Rostov region.

The forum is attended by representatives from government agencies, regional and local administrations, ministries, non-governmental organizations and experts.
 

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