Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by Elita Babayan
Armenia's integration with Eurasian structures will give a strong impulse to mutually beneficial cooperation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after his meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Moscow on Tuesday.
He said that the meeting was very constructive and reflected the nature of the Armenian-Russian strategic partnership. "We have discussed all the key issues, with priority given to economic ties. Russia is Armenia's key trade and economic partner. Last year our trade turnover grew by 22% to more than $1.2bln. In Jan-May 2013 it rose by 13%. Russian investments in Armenia have exceeded $3bln. This is almost half of all foreign investments made in the Armenian economy. There are almost 1,300 Russian companies in Armenia or about 25% of all foreign companies working in the country. They cover a wide range of fields: gas, nuclear and hydro energy, transport, telecoms, finances. Among our biggest projects are Gazprom's participation in the construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline, the activities of Inter RAO UES to restore the Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade, Rosatom's plans to extend the life of Armenian Nuclear Power Plant by 10 years," Putin said.
He said that Russian Railways is planning to invest almost 15bln RUR in Armenian railroads, while Vneshtorgbank and Gazprombank are committed to enlarge their activities in the banking sector.
"We are ready to develop our cooperation in culture, science and education. We have Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University plus six branches of Russian universities, with over 2,000 students," Putin said.
He said that during the meeting he and Sargsyan also discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.