Interviews and press conferences
Statement by President Serzh Sargsyan at the joint press conference with the President of the Republic of Poland Bronisław Komorowski
Distinguished Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am glad to be here, in the friendly Poland at the invitation of President Bronisław Komorowski, and I am deeply touched by the warm Polish hospitality.
Today, we’ve held substantial and productive talks with President Komorowski on the strengthening of bilateral cooperation, prospects of development as well as on a number of international issues of mutual interest. We noted with satisfaction that recent years in the history of the Armenian-Polish interstate relations have been marked by the upward development of bilateral ties, high-level official, including presidential, visits and frequent contacts.
We’ve spoken about the process of implementation of the agreements reached during the 2011 visit of the President of Poland to Armenia. I am glad to state that we observe progress in all discussed areas which testifies to our mutual desire and readiness to develop the Armenian-Polish cooperation.
We concurred with President Komorowski that there has been laid a good basis for the cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, decentralized, military and technical, cultural and educational, tourism and other areas of mutual interest, noting at the same time that there is potential to expand them further. The documents signed today prove it.
I will not conceal my admiration with Poland’s economic advancement. Economic growth registered by Poland during the global financial and economic crisis is impressive and instructive indeed.
Trade and economic cooperation with Poland is significant for Armenia, however I wouldn’t call its current level satisfactory. With this regard with attach certain hopes to the activities of the Armenian-Polish intergovernmental commission and Armenia-Poland Trade and Industry Chamber-Fund.
We mutually agreed on the need to strengthen the cultural relations and as Mr. President said, we have already reached agreement on the events to be organized next year. We have certainly discussed critical regional and international issues. We have spoken about the prospects of cooperation in the framework of the EU Eastern Partnership whose co-founder, meticulous implementer and supporter is also Poland.
Unfortunately, there are still problems in our region, conditions which impede the full realization of the opportunities provided by the Eastern Partnership. Regrettably, for some Europe still remains a market rather than a system of values. It is really ludicrous when one of our neighbors, which has declared its adherence to the European way of life, at the same time glorifies a scoundrel which committed a revolting murder on ethnic grounds, threatens to shoot down civil aircrafts and to deprive through a war the nation, which has been living on its land for millennia of that right. Another neighbor of ours – Turkey, which has also been striving to join Europe and is a member of the EU Customs Union, since almost day one of our independence shut down our border and refuses to maintain relations which are but normal between the neighbors in the 21st century.
With Europe, the pivot of our negotiations is mutual accessibility of our markets, free movement of people; however Armenia’s border with the EU Customs Union remains under lock. We anticipate a full and unequivocal assessment of the inadmissibility of such conduct.
I once again express thanks to Mr. President for the invitation and warm welcome.
President Serzh Sargsyan responded to the questions raised by the journalists at the joint press conference with the President of Poland
At the joint press conference with the President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski, President Serzh Sargsyan responded to the question of a journalist on what is the attitude in Armenia toward the integration processes. Serzh Sargsyan said, “Strategic nature of the Armenian-Russian relations is no secret. We have been living side by side for many years and for some considerable time – in one common state. During centuries, good, friendly relations based on mutual respect were formed. We are friendly nations; we have a common history and are proud of that history. Armenia and Russia are members of the CSTO; with Russia we have extended military-technical and deep economic relations. The largest Armenian community resides in Russia and the members of that community are much respected people. We have never made a step aimed against Russia and have no complex which would compel to make such a step. We are the nation which is a carrier of the European values and our goal is to advance our society based on that very values. Armenia is a country which has registered an impressive progress in the framework of the EU Eastern Partnership. We build our work based not on “either-or” but on “both” principle, and I don’t see any incongruity here.”
On the question whether Poland will assist Armenia in the process of Eurointegration, the President of Armenia responded, yes, Poland has been and is assisting us. We need that help and assistance.
The next question directed to Serzh Sargsyan was on the importance of the international assistance to the reforms conducted in Armenia and prospects, particularly now when Armenia has been moved from the list of the low-income countries to the list of the middle-income states and thus has lost a considerable portion of international donors’ assistance.
Responding to this question, the President of Armenia underscored that Armenia needs technical, material assistance, also in the form of exchange of experience, etc. and anticipates such assistance. Serzh Sargsyan spoke about the large-scale reforms undertaken in the customs and tax structures, improvement of the business environment and underscored that it is impossible to implement all these reforms without substantial investments. The President spoke also about the large-scale program to be launched on January 1, 2014 which envisages providing competitive wages to all those employees whose salaries are funded through the state budget and to all employees in general. Underlining that the main burden of the reforms mentioned above naturally rests with the Armenian authorities, President Serzh Sargsyan, at the same time, stressed the importance of investments and assistance to that process.