Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting with President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, Yerevan, November 21, 2020
Thank you very much for this opportunity to meet with you during this visit of a large interagency delegation of the Russian Federation, which includes deputy prime ministers, ministers, and the heads of agencies and Russian companies that are directly involved in our multifaceted partnership and cooperation.
Today’s talks offer an opportunity to review absolutely all spheres of our relations and discuss ways to deepen them and to make them even more effective for our people. We hope very much that our trade, economic and investment ties, which declined slightly, by 7 percent, during the coronavirus pandemic, resume positive growth.
We are closely monitoring the developments in Armenia and around the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. President Vladimir Putin asked me to convey our gratitude for the opinion expressed by you and by an overwhelming majority of Armenian politicians and ordinary people about the joint statement adopted on November 9 by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and President of Russia Vladimir Putin. As you said, it has stopped the war. The ceasefire is working, for the first time after numerous calls and arrangements, thanks to the coordinated ceasefire verification mechanism. The peacekeepers, who have been deployed by agreement with Azerbaijan and Armenia, are ensuring the safety of the ceasefire and providing humanitarian support to people in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The peacekeeping mission has been reinforced with one more initiative. In accordance with an executive order of President Vladimir Putin, an Interdepartmental Humanitarian Response Centre has been established to provide active support to the settlement of current problems facing local population. We are attracting international organisations to these efforts, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has long been working in Nagorno-Karabakh, and other UN bodies. We point out every day the importance of these organisations’ proactive role in this matter. It is important to ensure strict compliance with the November 9 statement by all parties so as to strengthen stability in Armenia, which you have already pointed out and which was discussed during our meeting today with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. We believe that today’s visit of our unconventional delegation is proof of our sincere desire to ensure stability in friendly Armenia. It is also evidence of the efforts taken by the national leadership towards this end.