Rostelecom to hold events enhancing computer literacy in Armenia

Ameriabank signs 25 mln USD syndicated loan agreement with FMO and OeEB for financing of SME and renewable energy

Ucom subscribers can pay for services at VTB Bank (Armenia) round the clock

Baku criticizes Russia24 channel

Prosecutor General's Office institutes a criminal case based on files submitted by Levon Zurabyan

Beeline Armenia CEO presented "Success Path" lecture for Leaders' Club members

National Philharmonic Orchestra has marked closing of concert season 2015, emphasizing role of VivaCell-MTS in implementation of initiatives of orchestra

Court upholds motion of Armenia's National Security Service to arrest Arthur Vardanyan

All countries of CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, except Azerbaijan, condemn downing of Russian plane by Turkey

National Security Service of Armenia: Detained citizens start giving evidence

Naryshkin to Ankara: Crimes of the past should be condemned properly

Raffi Hovannisian's political passivity reason is two weddings and several funerals

Expert: Promises of paradise in Armenia "roam" from one constitutional referendum to another

Yerevan: Selective approach to principles and elements in Karabakh peace process will make settlement impossible

Illegitimate regime that seized power in Armenia must leave: Raffi Hovannisian

New Armenia Front: Zhirayr Sefilyan's wife attacked

Zhirayr Sefilyan: KGB-style government in the country remained in the past

INECOBANK launches "InecoQuest" adventure contest under "Open the cashbox full of millions" motto

Geoteam CJSC invested 240 thousand USD in its social projects in 2015

VivaCell-MTS: From now on "Personal", "City Talks" and "Special" tariff plans are also available to non-residents living in Armenia

German Ambassador: Terror attacks in Paris were aimed not only against France but all Europe and pan- European values

Armenian National Congress: Information that one of criminal group's detainees is connected with opponents of Constitutional reforms is dirty propaganda

Call Center of VTB Bank (Armenia) daily serves an average of 3000 incoming and outgoing calls

Beeline "Call Me +" service subscribers can send messages abroad requesting to call back

Levon Zurabyan to provide Prosecutor General with video showing attempts to bribe "No!" Front proxies

Minister says situation around Football Federation of Armenia will come to light soon

SCR achieves profitability due to rigid balance between revenues and expenses and launch of resource- saving projects

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia welcomes possible criminalizing of Armenian Genocide denial by Russia

Deputy Foreign Minister: Use of Russian military base in Armenia should be agreed with Armenia

Hovhannes Sahakyan to Levon Ter-Petrosyan: Profound Constitutional reforms will help Armenia to counter external challenges

Beeline announces sales of Beeline Smart Dual, Beeline Smart 2 and Beeline Smart Pro ahead of New Year holidays

Syunik governor's son appointed assistant to director of "ArmForest" SNCO

Levon Ter-Petrosyan: It appears that the advocates for the Constitutional amendments have nothing to do but swear up and down

Eduard Sharmazanov to tell Russian lawmakers about Armenia's positive opinion on Russian bill criminalizing Armenian Genocide denial

Levon Ter-Petrosyan: It appears that the advocates for the Constitutional amendments have nothing to do but swear up and down

Sharmazanov: Incidents of downing of Armenian helicopter over Karabakh and Russian plane over Syria have the same modus operandi

Nikolay Silayev: Risk of deployment of a "third front" around Karabakh is rather high

VivaCell-MTS invests 7.9 bln AMD in cultural projects over past 10 years

Rostelecom Armenia: Awarding ceremony of "Thank You, Internet 2015" contest to be held on November 30

VivaCell-MTS has invested 23.6 bln AMD into social projects during 10 years

Orange Foundation to invest 51 mln AMD in Zangakatun border village

Beeline Child Development Corners opened in Aragatsotsn region

Bill on establishing responsibility for not recognizing Armenian Genocide by Turkey introduced into State Duma

Political expert: Russia will not involve its 102nd base in Armenia in conflict with Turkey

New Armenia refutes information that the detained criminals have ties with New Armenia Front

NSS: Organized criminal group intending to commit grave crimes in Armenia disclosed

US official says final status of Nagorno-Karabakh subject of OSCE Minsk Group-led international negotiations

Emergency situation in Yerevan: National Security Service and Police prevent possible terror attack

ARARATBANK announces 10th jubilee issue of coupon bonds guided by investors' high demand for currency dealing

Sociologist: 75% of Armenian women undergo violence

Stepan Sukhorenko: For 20 years of diplomatic relations establishment our partnership has become more effective than during the USSR

Interview of Ambassador of Belarus to Armenia, Stepan Sukhorenko, with ArmInfo news agency

  • by Marianna Mkrtchyan

  • Monday, June 17, 23:12

Mr Ambassador, Armenia and Belarus celebrate an anniversary – 20 years of establishment of diplomatic relations. Did our countries gain much for these 20 years like the independent states?

 The positions of Armenia and Belarus on the key international issues coincide. Earlier we used to work through Moscow. The headquarters of foreign policy was in Moscow. But today we have been directly working in all the international platforms like independent entities. But the most important is that we contact and support each other in many issues. Armenia and Belarus are two small countries, and of course they cannot act the way that Russia and China do. For this reason, big states or  international structures have got absolutely different pretensions to them.  As for us, we are forced to stand shoulder to shoulder and support each other. We  have been effectively cooperating in the humanitarian sphere and in the sphere of culture as well, and Days of Belarusian Culture are traditionally  held in Armenia, and of the Armenian culture - in Belarus. Today the two countries know about each other much more than earlier, as today they directly communicate without intermediaries. In the sphere of education both countries have agreements almost with all the profile universities, and they exchange students and share their experience.  We have been discussing, which is better the Bologna process  or an old Soviet school. Armenia is a participant of the Bologna process, but we just coming closer to it.  However, we still have the basis - the Soviet school plus the best practice adapted to today's conditions. Today we do not say that the Bologna process is the best and what we had is bad. Belarus does not hurry and is coming closer to this problem very much carefully to find an optimal option. The inter-regional cooperation is one of the most  important sides of cooperation. Today the regions of Armenia and Belarus have established friendship and discuss trade and economic as well as humanitarian problems. The dialogue often becomes so much deep and trustful that even the Embassy is not aware of it. For this reason, I should say once again that for the last 20 years we moved forward more than in the Soviet Union. And the most important is that there is no obstacle in our cooperation, though there are wrinkles, as every country has its own national interests, but I cannot remember a case of any serious disagreements or barriers between our countries. If there are disagreements, we try to settle them only stemming from the interests of both states.

 You probably mean extension of cooperation within such organizations like the future Eurasian Union or the Customs Union. Are the Armenian and Belarusian parties cooperating on the matter?

 One should get used to one another when choosing any unions. For instance, Belarus is a member of the Customs Union and Single Economic Area. By 2015 members of the organization should join the Eurasian Union. A question arises: what are more - pluses or minuses? To us, as a state with an open economy, the Customs Union as well as Single Economic Area are very much important, as our key market is developing sin two directions - Russia and Europe. And today one cannot say that Belarus is making choice only between Russia and Europe. 

 Belarus is already able to combine, but Armenia always asks: either or. This is a pure political speculation.

 The statements by European functionaries about the necessity of making choice between the European Union and Eurasian Union are incorrect. Some high rank European functionaries say these two unions do not hinder each other, but others do not think so. Let's discuss the issue logically. Armenia is a member of the WTO, at present it is preparing to signing of the Association Agreement with the EU and the Agreement with Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. Russia is also a member of the WTO, Kazakhstan is going to join the WTO. The point is that everything is being formed at single principles, on which the WTO has been functioning.  As for the European Union, here as well, everything is being formed on principles fixed and functioning in the European Union. The activity of the EU is currently analyzed and the minuses of this structure will be taken into consideration when forming the Eurasian Union. For this reason the statements by European functionaries about the necessity of making choice between the European Union and Eurasian Union are incorrect. I think, those who make such statements, watch Armenia like their patrimony. One should be more correct, and if you cooperate, remember that you cooperate with an equal partner, and it does not matter if he is big or small.

 Does Belarus watch any projects that will be financed through the so called state and private programme financing?

 One of the most important goals in cooperation between Armenia and Belarus is to increase the commodity turnover. This issue was one of the key issues during the negotiations between President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. Six agreements on cooperation in various fields were signed during the visit of the Byelorussian President to Armenia. In particular, the agreements cover the spheres of nuclear security, agriculture, sport, economy, etc. As our presidents said, the most important thing for both states is that the commodity turnover between Armenia and Belarus is insufficient and does not meet the capacities. On the one hand, 46 mln USD seems to be a big amount, but on the other hand, it is only 1% of the total foreign commodity of Armenia. The two countries' presidents have set a goal at least to double this amount within the  next 1.5-2 years. The other issues concern the both states' further cooperation within international organizations, such as the CSTO, the CIS, etc. The issue of formation of the Eurasian Union also plays an important part in the bilateral relations.

Several years ago president of Belarus offered many foreign businessmen, including the Armenian ones, to invest in the economy of Belarus. How much Belarus is open today for big and medium-sized investments?

This topic is still relevant today. Moreover, our legislation is improving and becoming more liberal, and one of the key goals is to attract foreign investments. One of such investment projects is the Byelorussian-Chinese hi-tech park, which is being formed near the Minsk International Airport. A very large area is provided for the project. Thousands of specialists are supposed to work in the park. It is a multi-discipline park, and not only Chinese  or Byelorussian economic entities will be launched there. We believe that this will be a very promising project. Given that the country is at the junction of main tracks, nowadays we experience creation of many transshipment logistics centers. In addition, accommodation facilities are very actively being built, because Belarus will host the World Hockey Championship 2014. We welcome investments in the production industry and sphere of services, but  we are not interested in short-term speculative transactions, our country does not need that. There are already 4 Armenian restaurants in Minsk, and the Byelorussians attend them with pleasure.

Mr. Ambassador, thank you for an interesting interview

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)

Your name



View comments (0)

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields