June 7, 2019 - 10:02 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who is paying a working visit to St. Petersburg met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Konstantinovsky Palace.
Welcoming Pashinyan, Putin hailed relations between the two countries as special.
"I have no doubt that you will find it interesting and, hopefully, useful to take part in discussions at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum," he said.
"It offers you a good format in which to meet your colleagues, talk with them and discuss current issues on the economic agenda, as well as to talk about political issues, so I would call it a useful and important event.
"There is no need to characterize our bilateral relations as we do this regularly: we met quite recently and discussed many issues and had the opportunity to talk about everything on the sidelines of the EAEU summit in Kazakhstan.
"Let me remind you that Russia is Armenia’s leading trade and economic partner, which accounts for 26 percent of Armenia’s foreign trade, plus direct investment worth two billion U.S. dollars and many other things that show that we maintain special relations of two allies. I am glad to have the opportunity to meet with you today and discuss the entire range of issues."
Pashinyan said bilateral relations are developing harmoniously.
"As you mentioned, our counties are bound by strategic relations of allied partnership. And this concerns not only bilateral relations: we are actively cooperating in the frame of the Eurasian Economic Union, the CIS, and the CSTO. And I believe that all these areas are of strategic importance to our countries," he said.
"I am very glad that we have the opportunity to systematically develop our relations in these areas. I mean that we have quite optimistic economic indicators this year: we had 7.1% economic growth in the first quarter. The economic activity index was 9.2 percent in April.
"Why am I talking about this? Because it seems to be obvious that these are good indicators not only for Armenia, but also for the Eurasian Economic Union, since Armenia’s economic performance is by far dependant on our relations with EAEU-member countries and our business entities’ access to the Russian market. It is very important.
"I hope we can come up with such solutions as not to impair this positive trend of economic growth. I want to note that this year we have witnessed a pretty good growth in terms of the number of tourists coming from Russia to Armenia. Russian can be heard everywhere in Armenia: in the capital and in tourist centers. Very nice. Every time I meet with Russian tourists, I ask them how they feel in Armenia.
"I can state with confidence that Russian tourists feel quite comfortable in Armenia. And it is obvious that more and more Russian tourists will come to our country. I am pleased at it, of course, as I think that this is not only an economic issue, but also a matter of cultural and humanitarian linkages. I feel that these contacts are promoting our political and economic relations.”
"During the meeting, the interlocutors discussed a broad range of issues on the Armenian-Russian cooperation agenda. In particular, they touched upon the activities of the intergovernmental commission.
"The parties stressed the importance of continued high-level contacts and expressed readiness to discuss ways of ensuring progress in this area. The need for continued discussions in the framework of working groups was noted on both sides."