Sarkisian, Putin Meet in Moscow
MOSCOW (RFE/RL)—Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on Wednesday as part of his working visit to Moscow.
According to a report released by the Kremlin, the two leaders discussed “interaction of the two countries in the political and economic spheres, in the sphere of security and humanitarian cooperation.”
Putin reportedly also thanked the Armenian president for his efforts on the organization in Moscow of an exhibition dedicated to the opening of the Days of Armenian Culture in Russia.
“Advancement of Russian-Armenian cooperation is evident in all directions,” President Sarkisian said in his turn. “Close contacts between our people, cultural, educational, scientific ties are of particular important to us.”
Later today the Armenian and Russian leaders visited the Tretyakov Gallery where works by Armenian painter Martiros Sarian are currently exhibited.
According to the information released by the Armenian president’s press office, during the meeting the sides also addressed the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process.
It is expected that the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Edward Nalbandian and Elmar Mammadyarov, will discuss Karabakh settlement on Thursday at a meeting to be held in Moscow through the mediation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group, which is jointly headed by Russia, the United States and France.
At a press conference in Baku on the eve of the possible meeting Mammadyarov said that Azerbaijan does not want “negotiations to be held for the sake of negotiations.” “We demand concrete results,” he said.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to pay visits to Armenia and Azerbaijan early next week.
Russia’s TASS news agency on Tuesday quoted Lavrov as saying that his trips to Yerevan and Baku will be related to the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Russian-Armenian and Russian-Azerbaijani diplomatic relations.
Still, the top Russian diplomat said that international issues will also be discussed during the meetings. “We will try to understand at what stage our efforts on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement are after the meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Geneva,” Lavrov said.
Armenian President Sarkisian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev pledged to intensify the peace process and bolster the ceasefire regime in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone when they met in the Swiss city on October 16.
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