The meeting of the Prime Ministers of Armenia and Russia Nikol Pashinyan and Mikhail Mishustin took place in Minsk.
The head of the Russian Government said in his speech,
“Welcome, dear Nikol Vovaevich,
I warmly recall our meeting during your official visit. First of all, let me convey the warm greetings and best wishes of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. I would like to emphasize once again that we highly value our special relations with fraternal Armenia. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries and the 25th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance.
Russia is Armenia’s main foreign trade partner and the investor in the Armenian economy. According to the results of January-April of this year, the mutual trade turnover increased by 30%, exceeding $ 890 million. I think there is still room for growth. The volume of Russian capital in the Armenian economy is more than $ 2 billion, there are opportunities to grow here as well, it will be important for Russian investors to expand their investments in Armenia.
There are major Russian companies operating in Armenia – oil and gas, transport, digital technologies, other sectors – we hope that the Armenian Government will continue to create favorable conditions for Russian companies. We are interested in expanding bilateral cooperation, launching new productions, promoting joint projects in various fields, first of all in industry, energy, transport, digitalization. These issues are in the focus of our intergovernmental commission. By the relevant decision of the Government, all restrictions on the entry of Armenian citizens to Russia by land have been lifted. We expect that in the near future the flow of tourists will be restored and will even grow further. In my opinion, this is very important for the populations of Armenia and Russia.
We also pay special attention to the unblocking of transport and economic infrastructure in the South Caucasus, in accordance with the agreement of the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The practical work is being carried out within the framework of a trilateral working group co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers. Its regular session took place during the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.
And today our meeting is taking place within the framework of the sitting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, Russia and Armenia are advocating strengthening of the Eurasian integration on the basis of the four freedoms: free movement of capital, labor, services, and goods. Within the framework of the Union, we are taking joint steps to reduce the impact of sanctions imposed by non-friendly countries, our decisions contribute to the stabilization of the economies of the EEU countries.
I suggest we should go through all these points, dear Nikol Vovaevich”.
In turn, Prime Minister Pashinyan said,
“Dear Mikhail Vladimirovich,
I am very glad to see you, we meet regularly.
I also recall with warmth our last meeting in Moscow in the sidelines of my official visit. I want to emphasize that it was very effective, I want to thank you for responding quickly to all the issues that need a solution in order to maintain the high pace of our trade and economic relations.
I would especially like to emphasize the decisions you have made regarding the Upper Lars checkpoint. You know that, unfortunately, it is still the only land route that connects Armenia and Russia. There are concerns about the current economic conjuncture, with some problems arising in connection with the increase of land economic flows; the decisions you have already made and which we have already agreed on are very important. We are also talking about this with our Georgian partners so that the trade turnover between Russia and Armenia does not face artificial restrictions.
In this context, the opening of regional infrastructure, the unblocking of the whole region is very important. I would like to thank once again Alexey Overchuk and Mher Grigoryan, who are working very intensively with the Co-chair of the Republic of Azerbaijan on these issues. I hope that the work done will result in concrete decisions, as you know that the opening of economic and transport infrastructure in the region is important for all countries in the region. In the current situation, it is of special significance.
Today we will discuss not only issues on the bilateral agenda. The agenda of the Eurasian Economic Union is also very important for us. You rightly noted that both Armenia and Russia are interested in making the Eurasian Economic Union a more effective format. Of course, we are pleased with how this mechanism works, but there is always room for improvement.
I am very happy to welcome you once again, I hope we will have a meaningful conversation today.”