What do you think about Mr. Medvedev’s recent press conference? What was the most important aspect for you?Aram Safaryan:
I was impressed by this press conference, without exaggerating. The key essence for me was that Russia is following the path of modernization, as it was announced several years ago. This means that task for the President and the country’s leadership is to rebuild a strong Russia, with developing economy and popular welfare. Implementation of this task will help secure Moscow’s international influence.
Hayk Babukhanyan: Certainly, Russian President’s statements are of great interest for Armenian politicians. The scope of issues Mr. Medvedev touched upon during his press conference surprises, actually. He spoke of parking problems and domestic situation, relations with NATO and missile defense. Russia’s position on Syria is also very important, as it’s our political partner and a home for a large Armenian community. It was also interesting to hear comments on Russian-Chinese relations.
President Medvedev reiterated the necessity of reform though a policy of modernization? What can Armenia derive from this position?
Special attention was given to innovations. It should be noted that the Armenian-Russian cooperation has fixed significant progress to that end. I mean projects like construction of a new power-generating unit of the Armenian nuclear plant, creation of a new synchrophasotron, establishment and development of joint innovation centers, development of telecommunication networks and information technology.
Hayk Babukhanyan: This is certainly an important niche in a country’s development. A very interesting opinion was presented on Ukraine’s course. Mr. Medvedev precisely laid out Russia’s position on expansion of economic area throughout the CIS and formation of Customs Union. He clearly gave to understand that aspiration for the European Union and involvement in integration processes in the CIS are hardly combinable. I think the statement referred not only to Ukraine but also to other CIS member states. I believe that Armenia, like a CSTO member, should concentrate on integration issues despite Azerbaijan and Georgia’s attempt to isolate Armenia from Russia.
During the press conference Dmitry Medvedev didn't clarify whether he is going to run for a second presidential term. What do you think about it?Aram Safaryan:
It's obvious that people in Armenia follow the events in Russia, especially regarding this matter. Russia is Armenia's strategic partner and closest military and political ally in the CSTO. We need Russia to be strong, prosperous and influential power, maintaining close relations with Armenia. I would not like to comment on whether Medvedev will run for the second term or not. This is up to the Russian society and political elite. I can only hope that any political development in Russia, as well as in Armenia, will help preserve the existing interrelation.
Hayk Babukhanyan: In my opinion, President Medvedev answered this question quite definitely. I mean that not all political processes should be described in detail, because there is still enough time to make any statements on the matter. Anyway, I think predictions are senseless in that case, so we had better follow the development of events, including Russia's foreign policy course. President Medvedev put it clear that strategic changes are unlikely. There might be some tactical disagreements, but as he said, it is just a matter of tactics. It means reinforcement of positions, development of the relations with China and parity relations with Europe and U.S.