YEREVAN, October 23 (Itar-Tass) — Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan starts on Sunday a three-day state visit to Russia at an invitation of his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.
The visit programme provides for summit talks in the Kremlin to be held on Monday as well as meetings with leaders of the country. Besides, Sargsyan will deliver a speech before students and the faculty of Moscow State University, named after Mikhail Lomonosov and will lay down a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall.
The Armenian leader will be present on Sunday at a ceremony of blessing and sanctifying crosses of a new Armenian cathedral in Moscow to be conducted by head of the Armenian Apostolic Church Catholicos Garegin II. The church complex was built at the crossroads of the Trifonovskaya Street and Olimpiisky Avenue; the temple is the biggest building of the Armenian Church outside Armenia.
Political cooperation between the two countries is assessed as strategic partnership, while the political dialogue is at a high level. During Medvedev’s state visit to Armenia in August 2010, the presidents confirmed commitment to strategic partnership and development of bilateral relations.
“Russia is the leading trade and economic partner of Armenia,” said republican Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisyan. “Russia owns more than half of all investments, made in the Armenian economy over the years of its independence.”
According to the premier, some 1,400 enterprises with Russian capital operate in Armenia now. “These are billions-rich investments in our economy, starting with the energy sphere and ending with small and medium businesses as well as the financial sector,” Sarkisyan said.
Russian enterprises feel themselves well in Armenia, the premier noted at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on October 18. According to the premier, their “economic potential is on the rise”, and these “enterprises have reached a high enough level of profitability”.
The Russian credit of 500 million US dollars, granted to Armenia, permitted to cushion aftermaths of the world financial crisis, to settle some urgent social and economic tasks, including questions of restoration in the zone of the 1988 devastating earthquake in the northern part of the republic.
Armenia praises Russia’s mediation efforts as a co-chairman of the Minsk OSCE Group on Nagorno-Karabakh, and personal participation of the Russian president in efforts to bring closer the stands of the two countries.
Russia and Armenia actively cooperate in the military and military-technical spheres. According to the intergovernmental treaties, the Russian military base and border troops are stationed in the republic (Russian border troops in Armenia guard the republican borders with Turkey and Iran).
The country’s authorities regard the presence of Russian troops and borderguards an important component of national security. Last year, the term of stay of the Russian military base was extended to 49 years, and the zone of its responsibility was expanded.
Partnership in the humanitarian sphere is actively developing. The Russian-Armenian (Slavic) University in Yerevan has become one of the most prestigious higher schools in Armenia.
“Our peoples are connected by historic, spiritual, social, economic and political ties,” Sargsyan said in his recent interview to the Moscow-based Soyuzniki. ODKB magazine. “Cooperation between our state has reached a level of strategic partnership, while cooperation within the CSTO has strengthened even more dynamically developing Armenian-Russian relations.