Interviews and press conferences
RA President Serzh Sargsyan, Republic of Moldova President Igor Dodon summarize their talks at a meeting with mass media representatives
Statement by RA President Serzh Sargsyan made for mass media after meeting with Moldova President Igor Dodon
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have just held talks with Igor Nikolayevich Dodon, the President of Moldova.
Mr. Dodon is for the first time in Armenia on an official visit. He is the only, the first President of Moldova to visit our country. This visit is emblematic as it comes in the year of the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries.
The ties between our peoples have existed more than a century, which stresses the depth of our relations and the two peoples’ mutual sympathy.
The range of issues we touched upon was broad. During the talks, a reciprocated desire was expressed to develop cooperation and tap the huge potential inherent in bilateral relations. The decision we made last year to set up Armenia’s Embassy in Chisinau is seen as a practical step in that direction.
We paid special attention to the development of cooperation in trade and the economic sphere. Despite the fact that as of the first 9 months of 2017, bilateral trade turnover grew by 33% as compared to the same period last year, with the export of Armenian products having been increased by 2.1 times, we can not be content with this and need to foster business in order to give this growth trend a sustainable character.
I believe that along with the traditional areas of cooperation in the economy, our countries need to pay more attention to high technologies and innovations.
We expect the Intergovernmental Commission to get the most out of the bilateral economic agenda in terms of promoting its diversification, launching new interesting projects. At the same time, we agreed to hold a meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission no later than next spring.
Proper attention was paid to cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian field.
Of course, during the talks a special emphasis was placed on foreign policy issues. I am confident that by cooperating in the spirit of our peoples’ centuries-old ties of friendship and mutual respect, we can achieve greater efficiency of cooperation in various multilateral formats. And we welcome and support the desire of the Republic of Moldova for closer interaction with integration associations.
In the course of today’s negotiations, I reiterated Armenia’s position on exclusively peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of norms and principles of international law, the provisions of the UN Charter, in particular, the principles of non-use of force or threat of use of force, territorial integrity, equality and the right of peoples to self-determination.
The importance of implementing those agreements reached at the summits in Vienna, St. Petersburg and Geneva aimed at preventing further escalation, ensuring adherence to the cease-fire regime, taking extra measures to reduce tensions in the conflict zone and intensifying the negotiation process was emphasized on either side.
And before giving the floor to Igor Nikolayevich, I would like to make a special mention of the following.
We are really interested in ensuring that our citizens and business entities have new opportunities to implement joint business, scientific and cultural projects. And we expect that as a result of today’s talks, the contacts between our countries will become even more active.
Our cooperation has good prospects. There are all necessary conditions for this, and most importantly, the reciprocated desire of the two peoples to strengthen friendship, trust, cooperation, and of course, creative partnership.
In conclusion, I want to thank President Dodon for the constructive, businesslike and confidential atmosphere of today’s meeting.
Thank you. I am pleased to give the floor to Igor Nikolayevich Dodon.
Statement by President Igor Dodon of the Republic of Moldova made for mass media after meeting with RA President Serzh Sargsyan
Thank you very much! Dear Mr. President,
Dear mass media representatives,
Dear members of Moldovan and Armenian delegations,
I am honored and very happy to be the first president of Moldova visiting the Republic of Armenia.
Yes, this year marks 25 years of diplomatic relations, but it turned out that we discussed some nuances, details that the Moldovan presidents had not yet arrived in Yerevan on either a working or an official visit.
I think that my visit to Armenia may open up a new chapter in bilateral relations. Yes, during this period, we were able to advance on many issues on the bilateral agenda.
We have signed 15 agreements, both intergovernmental and interstate. We have several agreements - more precisely seven - ready for signing. We have experience of cooperation on various issues: diplomatic and economic, but I very much hope, moreover, I am confident that after this visit we will usher in another stage in our bilateral relations.
A far as trade relations are concerned, my counterpart talked about figures - I do not want to repeat myself, but we must note and acknowledge that the level of our trade turnover does not correspond to the potential that exists between our countries. And in particular, the problem here is that we have not yet held intergovernmental commission meetings between our countries.
We agreed that we will endeavor on both sides to ensure that a Moldovan-Armenian business forum be held next year in parallel with the intergovernmental commission session, and I am sure that our business people will find common projects in order to give fresh impetus to trade relations.
My delegation features the chairperson of the Moldovan-Armenian interparliamentary friendship group. I want to note that this group includes more than twenty members of Moldovan parliament. Today, we will have a meeting with the leadership of the Armenian parliament, and I think that the first meeting of the friendship group will be held as early as next year.
We also discussed our cooperation at international platforms, including the European and regional platforms. Here, I would like to single out our cooperation within the CIS. My confidence is that our countries - small countries - are doomed to have good relations with both the West and the East. And in this sense Armenia is an example for Moldova.
We are keen to learn Armenia’s experience as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. I wish to thank President Sargsyan for the support we saw and see in our desire to work more closely on these new integration projects.
Most citizens of the Republic of Moldova want to cooperate with the Eurasian Economic Union. And this year we took the first steps: in early April - April 4 - I signed an agreement on cooperation with the EAEU, and we applied for observer status.
Armenia supported us at two meetings of EAEU presidents, both in Bishkek and in Sochi. I really hope, and we talked about this, that we will continue to receive this support.
Also, it would be very interesting for us to analyze the roadmap Armenia followed to become a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, and we agreed that we will exchange experience in this regard.
Just as much exciting is the fact that while being an EAEU-member country, Armenia is going to sign a partnership agreement with the European Union in the near future.
We went the other way. We first signed the Association Agreement with the EU, and only then we started to build bridges with the Eurasian Economic Union. It led to some consequences for Moldova, but we are keen to learn Armenia’s experience, which is going to and decided to have good relations with both EAEU and the European Union.
Indeed, we discussed in detail other issues that concern both the bilateral agenda and the problems that our countries are facing. We have shared achievements, we have common problems; we have what is binding us, namely the solution of some internal issues.
We have the Transnistrian problem. We very much hope that all the problems that you face will be solved exclusively through peaceful means, in accordance with international agreements.
I want to thank Mr. President for the invitation. I very much hope and am confident that after my official visit to Yerevan, both at the business level and at the level of ordinary people - by the way, we have a small but very active Armenian Diaspora in Chisinau (the delegation includes the head of the Armenian community) - I really hope and I am sure that we will gain a very serious momentum both in the cultural and humanitarian aspects.
In addition, I formally invited the President of Armenia, the top leadership of the country to pay an official visit to the Republic of Moldova next year, and I hope that such a visit will take place.
Thank you so much.