The meeting was held as part of the Armenian Prime Minister’s official visit to Russia.
Mikhail Mishustin: Mr Pashinyan, ladies and gentlemen of the Armenian delegation,
We would like to welcome you to the Government House. We are delighted to see you!
Your official visit is of much importance for the further development of friendly and allied relations between Russia and Armenia.
This year, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
At your talks yesterday with President Vladimir Putin, you reached wide-ranging agreements on strengthening bilateral cooperation in practically all aspects of our countries’ agendas. The Government of Russia will take all the necessary measures to implement the decisions approved at the top level.
Russia is Armenia’s leading foreign trade partner and one of the top investors in the Armenian economy. It is gratifying that last year, our mutual trade grew to $2.6 billion, an increase of almost 13 percent on 2020. In January and February 2020, trade surged by 42 percent, totalling almost $430 million. The amount of Russian investment in the Armenian economy exceeds $2 billion.
We are certainly interested in expanding bilateral cooperation in areas such as energy, mining, transport infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, digital economy, high technology, and innovation. It is important to encourage collaboration between regions and make use of the potential of our small and medium-sized businesses in a more proactive manner.
The intergovernmental commission is developing concrete initiatives. Alexei Overchuk is actively working on this on our behalf. We propose accelerating the preparation for the signing of a new intergovernmental programme of Russian-Armenian economic cooperation.
In the context of the illegal sanctions imposed on Russia by unfriendly countries, it is important to increase the use of national currencies in bilateral trade and boost industrial cooperation. We must find new opportunities for expanding bilateral trade in all spheres.
The decisions we have adopted within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, including the lowering of import customs duties on raw materials, food products and component parts, will ensure the sustainable development of a common market in the five member states, in the interests of businesses and consumers.
We are also paying special attention to the implementation of the agreements on unblocking economic ties and transport links in the South Caucasus, reached by the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. I am sure that the creation of new infrastructure routes will guarantee the stable development of the region and will promote peace and stability for all states in the South Caucasus.
Russia will continue to provide humanitarian aid to Armenia. The Interdepartmental Humanitarian Response Centre is working to make arrangements for the return of refugees to their permanent places of residence and, of course, to restore infrastructure facilities.
Of special importance in this regard is the multifaceted cooperation between Russia and Armenia in education, science and culture. It is extremely important for our fraternal people, who place a high value on friendship and people-to-people ties.
Mr Pashinyan, I am ready to discuss all the current issues on our bilateral agenda with you. You have the floor.
Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you, Mr Mishustin.
First of all, I am delighted to see you. Colleagues, good afternoon.
It is my first official visit to the Russian Federation. I would like to say that it has been very successful so far. As you pointed out, yesterday, I met with President Putin to discuss nearly all aspects of our interstate relations. We had very productive talks, and we reached important agreements.
Of course, Russia is the main trade and economic partner of the Republic of Armenia. You mentioned that our mutual trade and our trade and economic ties have been growing for a considerable time. We are also cooperating effectively within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union.
We have accumulated substantial experience in energy, and we have solid strategic plans for the joint development of this sector. We also have concrete plans for transport and other sectors. Yesterday we agreed with President Putin that the intergovernmental commission should become the main platform for implementing the agreements we have reached on the economy, energy and other spheres. I would like to point out that our ministries are really working together very well. It should be said that the [Eurasian] Intergovernmental Council is working quite actively as well. It recently held a meeting in Yerevan.
We are facing common challenges in the current situation. But there are opportunities, which we should place on record and make use of. I am glad that today we have the opportunity to discuss several practical issues and possibly find concrete solutions.
This year we mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia, 30 years of the CSTO, and 25 years of the Russian-Armenian Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. We have a programme of events for this year. I mentioned several times yesterday and today that this is an opportunity, first, to celebrate these dates and second, to review the path we have covered, to see which of the planned goals we have achieved, where we have failed, and what can be done to make our cooperation more effective and fruitful.
I am happy to see you. Thank you for the warm welcome.
We sometimes meet on the sidelines of the Eurasian Economic Union, and we maintain active bilateral ties. I would also like to thank you for the recent decisions, which have greatly bolstered our food security. It is very important for us. I am grateful to the Government of the Russian Federation.
I am sure that we will continue to cooperate effectively in the future as well and that we will find new ways and solutions to further increase our mutual trade.
Thank you very much.