Working visit of President Armen Sarkissian to the Republic of Belarus
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the Republic of Belarus, in the evening of June 30 together with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon at the Dinamo stadium in Minsk was present at the closing ceremony of the Second European Games.
The European Games are held every four years. Over 4000 athletes from 50 countries are competing in 15 sports. In these Games, the Armenian athletes won 11 medals, five of which are gold medals.
President Armen Sarkissian in Minsk held a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and Food of Belarus Anatoly Khotko.
The parties exchanged views on the prospects of deepening cooperation in the areas of agriculture, food production, and food security. President Sarkissian noted that Belarus has a great potential and opportunities in this area, and Armenia, as a market, could be interesting.
They also spoke about the possibilities of the implementation of the mutually beneficial joint programs.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Belarus on a working visit, visited today the Hi-Tech Park. The President was accompanied by a number of heads of the leading Armenian technological companies. The Director of the Hi-Tech Park Vsevolod Yanchevsky familiarized the President with the projects and production of the resident companies.
The President of Armenia was also informed on the hi-tech solutions and projects in the areas of medicine, ecology, agriculture, leisure, and others. The majority of them is being successfully implemented in different areas of the economy.
Armen Sarkissian also tried out a motorcycle working in the virtual reality.
At the conclusion of the tour, speaking about Hi-Tech Park’s activities and programs, Director Vsevolod Yanchevsky noted that education is the foundation of this success. “People are at the origins of all this, their knowledge and intellect. There would be no success without it. The educational system in Belarus is under constant attention. And education is the base on which the Belarusian IT is creating its success.”
Recapping the results of the visit in the conversation with the journalists, President Sarkissian said that it was the second time he was visiting the Park. President Sarkissian noted that the existing legal base and mechanisms allowed the organization in several years to develop new technologies in Belarus. “All this was not created in one day,” President Sarkissian said. “Years need to pass after the adoption of the legislation to inspire investors with confidence, to ensure stability which is one of the critical factors.”
The second factor according to the President of Armenia, are the conditions offered to the investors. “The conditions should be attractive because the world is a huge market and laboratory, you can go and start business in any country, especially in this sector.” Among other factors Armen Sarkissian mentioned also the educational system. “Belarus has a very advanced educational system and potential similar to Armenia’s to develop that system,” he said.
“They have registered great results. Over 50,000 professionals work in this area, from small companies, startups, to large companies of international repute. Thus, Belarus’s experience is very interesting for me and should be interesting for Armenia if we want to assist the development of artificial intelligence at any cost. I believe Armenia and Belarus are natural partners which can work together in this area, and I hope to continue the dialogue with the President of Belarus how the two countries can cooperate more closely. We need to invite our partners to visit Armenia to present their work and experience.
Today, artificial intelligence and new technologies are strong. There is not a single sector which can do without technology – from politics to journalism, agriculture, etc. New technologies everywhere offer unconventional solutions.”
The President of Armenia said that relations need to be developed with all countries – from Russia and the US to France, Germany, Italy. “To understand what’s going on in the world, we need to develop fast, in step with the world,” Armen Sarkissian said.
The Hi-Tech Park comprises nearly 570 companies of the IT and hi-tech areas which design software, apps, provide IT counseling, create computer and leisure games, etc. Among their well-known applications are Viber, Juno, MSQRD, and the World of Tanks computer game. Cellphone apps crated by the resident companies of the Hi-Tech Park are used by over 1 billion people, five out of the world’s ten largest corporation, and 67 countries are among the customers of the Park. Six of the Hi-Tech Park resident companies are among the world’s 100 best outsourcing companies.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Belarus on a working visit, accompanied by the Minister of Education of Belarus Igor Karpenko visited today the State University of Belarus and met with the leadership of the University.
Minister Igor Karpenko informed President Sarkissian on the cooperation with Armenia in the areas of education and science and noted that Belarus is interested in deepening the relations with Armenia in these areas.
President Sarkissian underscored that the two countries have a great potential for cooperation in the areas of science, education, and technologies. Noting that the IT area in Armenia was developing fast, the President of Armenia observed that the experience of Belarus in the area of technological development could be instructive and useful. “I’ve visited the Hi-Tech Park today which was rather impressive. Our future is linked to new technologies, while technologies are linked to education. There can be no technological development without education,”President Sarkissian said.
Noting that he fully supports cooperation between the educational establishments of the two countries, Armen Sarkissian spoke also about the presidential initiatives, particularly about the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) initiative aimed at the scientific, engineering, and technological development and said that would be glad to cooperate with the Belarusian companies in this area, too.
The Vice Rector of the University, academician Oleg Ivashkevich presented the achievements of the University in the areas of science, education, and technologies and the ongoing programs
At the conclusion of the visit, President Sarkissian made an inscription in the Book of Honorary Guests.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Belarus on a working visit, today was hosted at the State University of Computer Science and Radioelectronics, met with the leadership and the faculty of the University.
Present at the meeting was the Minister of Education of Belarus Igor Karpenko. Before the meeting, Rector Vadim Bogush introduced to President Armen Sarkissian achievements of the University and welcomed his visit to Belarus’s leading educational institutions.
Addressing the participants of the meeting, President noted that the purpose of the visit to the leading educational institutions of Belarus was clear: “Armenia and Belarus could cooperate in the areas of science, education, and technologies. In the Soviet Union, our countries were cooperating closely. Both Armenia and Belarus have taken the course of technological development. Today science, new technologies, starting from quantum, laser technologies up to data management, are interrelated. In the 21st century, we will be witnessing a rapid development of technologies which I call a rapid revolution.
Countries like Armenia and Belarus in the 21st century can become leading nations because in the 21st century the excellence will be more important than the size or numbers.”
He noted that he spoke also with President Lukashenko about cooperation in the areas of science, education, and technologies. “In our two countries, education and science are highly appreciated, and practical steps are being taken for their development. I congratulated on this regard the President of Belarus, who has a vision for the future because it will come really soon. The world is changing fast; thus it is necessary to work on education. I am here to reconfirm that we are ready and able to cooperate. I have come to continue our dialogue and to establish deeper relations,”
President Sarkissian said. He underscored that small countries should not be afraid of changes but can rather come up with unconventional solutions. He brought the example of the TUMO and noted that a small country, Armenia in this area has be become the exporter of this idea to Europe.
Armen Sarkissian also noted that he was impressed with the Hi-Tech Park of Belarus which creates a proper environment for the technological development.
At the conclusion of the meeting, he responded to the questions from the audience which pertained to Armenia’s accomplishments in the area of IT, perspective areas of the development of the fundamental sciences in Armenia, opportunities for cooperation of the two countries in the area of chemical technologies, and others.
President Sarkissian visited also the resource center of the Minsk Radiotechnical college of the University of Computer Science and Radioelectronis. Rector Vadim Bogush spoke about the main areas of the college’s activities. The President toured the electronics and machine building laboratories of the college and visited the museum of retro computers.
Alexander Lukashenko welcomed President Sarkissian’s visit to Belarus and noted that the agreement that the President of Armenia would visit Belarus and learn firsthand the country’s opportunities had been reached before. “I have been following your visit on TV and noted that you didn’t forget things we had spoken about and would like to visit the places which are prominent from the viewpoint of the development of the Belarusian economy. I followed your meetings with the representatives of our IT area and understood that you are holding in the focus of your attention the issues which are important for Armenia’s development.
With this regard, I would like to assure you, just as I did last time, that there are no closed topics with Armenia. Our doors are always open for you. I believe, you saw it during your visit.”
He informed that before the meeting, he had had a phone conversation with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. “He called me before his visit to Singapore and asked to convey greetings to the President. I responded that there was no hurry for the President’s return to Armenia, considering that he was busy with the issues important for Armenia. I told him about your visit. He said that it was certainly good. I say it frankly: Don’t go back too soon, see everything you want to from the viewpoint of agriculture and industry development. You’re a knowledgeable, smart, and practical man who knows what to look at and what’s important and useful for Armenia,” the President of Belarus said.
Speaking about the cooperation of the two countries, President Lukashenko said, “Even though our turnover today is not a large one, 50 million USD is not bad dynamics compared to the previous numbers. We have cordial relations with many representatives of Armenia. You know my friends in Armenia, who are making investments in Belarus, and I am very grateful for that. I have a rule: friendship is fine, but state interests are different. And when I was approached with the request to supply certain merchandise, I said that the principle was the following: You come to Belarus, you start production, create jobs, make investments, please… Gagik Tsarukian’s company is a successful company. We have organized the works of the Armenian-Belarusian Trade House, and I was reported that 30-40% turnover between Armenia and Belarus is made through it. It means that we have already created joint ventures and are ready to continue with that course.”
Alexander Lukashenko noted that there was a very warm attitude toward Armenians in Belarus and added,” We have always had good relations with Armenians and it is true today, too. Don’t worry even though different opinions are voiced in Armenia and in Belarus, and we are criticized for certain things. I see it as natural, but it is important that we are allies, standing on the same position. We, in fact, don’t differ even on the international agenda items.”
President Sarkissian thanked for the invitation to participate the momentous event – the closing ceremony of the Second European Games and noted, “I am greatly impressed with the scale of the event, managerial jobs, and discipline. On the area of former USSR, on certain directions Belarus continues to be a champion. Everything I have seen – organizational precision, discipline was impressive. I like the fact that Belarus is ahead of many countries in its comprehension that in the 21st century, reality and virtual reality will complement each other.
I am also glad that the Armenian athletes have been successful. I would like to congratulate all athletes, the team of Belarus which has performed splendidly, our sportsmen who performed well here. I believe, Belarus is ready for greater sporting events.
You have a vision and wisdom to see the future. Without that vision, it is difficult to build the present.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, President Sarkissian congratulated Alexander Lukashenko and the people of Belarus on National holiday celebrated on June 3 and on the 75th anniversary of liberation from fascism.