Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday (8 September), received in Moscow the Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan. This was the third meeting between the two men since Pashinyan became prime minister of Armenia in May, and came amidst speculation in Russian and Armenian media that there were problems in the historically close relations between the two countries.
Welcoming the Armenian leader, president Putin said:
Dear Nikolai Vovaevich! I am very glad to see you.
Probably, there is no need to particularly go into the nature of our relations: they are of a very special nature, specific. And it manifested itself through the centuries, and not only during our joint work with you.
For today, the relations between Armenia and Russia are developing steadily in all directions. This concerns the sphere of political relations, military sphere, security issues, economic cooperation.
Russia confidently ranks first among the economic partners of the Republic of Armenia. We are the biggest investor in the Armenian economy, and here it can be noted that relations in this sense are quite diversified.
This is energy, and hydrocarbon energy, gas supplies, and at the lowest prices, for which only Gazprom sells gas in the world - for $ 150 per 1,000 cubic meters. This is nuclear power, thermal generation. We develop relations in the metallurgical industry, and in different areas, in mechanical engineering. In general, we have many things to talk about.
I am particularly pleased that last year the trade turnover grew by almost 30 percent, and for the first half of this year the growth was already 22.2 percent, that is, if things go on at this rate, we will exceed the figures of the previous year.
The scope of our cooperation is great. I am very glad to see you in order to compare co-operation in the current and medium term.
On his part prime minister Pashinyan said:
Dear Mr Putin!
First of all, allow me to congratulate you on the Day of Moscow. I already felt that a very big holiday is planned, and I am very glad that I visit Moscow in such an atmosphere.
Of course, I am very pleased to attend this meeting, our third in the last four months. I think that such regularity underlines the special character of relations between our countries. Let me say, there is also a special character between us, the special character of our personal relations.
I want to emphasize that, contrary to some pessimism, which now exists in the Armenian, Russian press, and social networks. our relations are developing very dynamically, very naturally, and I think that the main task is to find the full potential of the development of our relations.
This does not mean that there are no questions in our relations - God forbid from such a situation when there are no issues in the relationship, because this would mean that there is no relationship at all. I can say with confidence that there are no unsolvable issues in our relations, and we, of course, today will discuss a very wide range of issues.
source: commonspace.eu with kremlin.ru
photo: Vladimir Putin with Nikol Pashinyan at their meeting in Moscow on 8 Sepotember 2018 (picture courtesy of the press service of the president of Russia)
Bakhtadze later tweeted that talks centred on Georgia's new wave of reforms and the EU's continued support for Georgia's European path.