The talks took place on the sidelines of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council meeting.
Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Mr Pashinyan, colleagues,
I am delighted to welcome you to Sochi, the Russian Federation. First of all, I would like to convey to you best wishes and greetings from President of Russia Vladimir Putin. I would also like to send my kindest and sincerest greetings to President of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan.
We sincerely value our fraternal relations; they are of a strategic and allied nature. Today, trade, economic and investment cooperation between Russia and Armenia is growing dynamically despite the illegal economic sanctions imposed by a number of unfriendly states.
In January-April, mutual trade increased by 96 percent and has reached almost 140 billion roubles, or more than 660 billion Armenian drams, today. It is undoubtedly important to maintain this positive momentum to reach new record levels in mutual trade.
More than 4,500 Russian companies or companies with Russian capital successfully operate in Armenia. Let me emphasise that Russia’s accumulated investment exceeds 46 percent of the total foreign investment in the Armenian economy.
We need to use the existing opportunities to increase trade and investment. Our joint intergovernmental commission is working on this. Alexei Overchuk co-chairs it on the Russian side. Its work is regulated by the intergovernmental programme of economic cooperation until 2025.
I would like to thank you and Mr Grigoryan as well as all your colleagues for their active participation in the commission. We are constantly in contact, and we meet regularly. The growth of trade and economic turnover is also the result of the commission’s effective work.
We are interested in launching new joint projects in energy, mining, digital development, agriculture, and other industries. Russian companies are ready to offer advanced solutions such as e-government, smart and safe cities, and transport infrastructure. There is a range of projects for consideration.
We focus on interregional cooperation with Armenia. Today about 70 Russian regions are working on this. Direct ties between the heads of Russian and Armenian regions are being established. Last year, 24 business missions were organised in Armenia with the participation of representatives from Russian regions. Of course, it is important to expand these contacts and create new cooperation ties.
Russia and Armenia are fruitfully cooperating within the Eurasian Economic Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States. I believe the decisions we are making here in Sochi will give a new boost to the development of economic integration in this area.
In compliance with the agreements between the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, we are carrying out systematic work to unblock economic and transport links in the South Caucasus. The creation of new infrastructure routes serves the interest of all states in the region.
Nikol Pashinyan: Mr Mishustin, you have already said a lot about our economic relations. It is true, we have good momentum, and I am glad that Russian businesses feel comfortable in Armenia.
I remember how last year we discussed ways to intensify our economic ties. And when I look at the results, I can say that a lot of what we talked about, what we agreed on, has already been put into practice, and I am very happy about this. There is quite a lot of investment activity, and mutual trade is growing very well. And this, by the way, helps the Armenian economy a lot, because we have very good economic activity.
It is now the summer season, and we are a little worried about the throughput of the Verkhny Lars customs checkpoint. I know that the Russian side is carrying out extensive renovations there. I hope there are plans to complete this work in the near future – this month or, please specify when, if possible. This is very important information not only for Armenia, but also for Russia. This is another important nuance that will significantly boost the further development of our economic relations.
You have already mentioned the trilateral working group to unblock economic and transport links in the region. We can say that quite tangible progress was noted during the last meeting, and I am very pleased with this. I would like to once again express the Republic of Armenia’s readiness to open regional economic and transport connections in compliance with the principle of sovereignty, the jurisdiction of those parties through which these connections pass. This applies to those connections that are outlined in the ninth paragraph of the tripartite statement of the President of the Russian Federation, the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia. I hope that we will be able to come to concrete solutions.
We have shared our specific proposals. I hope that they will be accepted. In principle, these are not our proposals but compromise solutions that we have worked out over the past two years.
Greetings again. I am confident that today we will be able to discuss all issues very effectively.