"Russia-Armenia: on the way to a strategic partnership"


An expert meeting 'Russia and Armenia on the ways to strategic
partnership' has opened. Representatives of the Armenian embassy were
at the meeting. The history department of the Moscow State University
of Lomonosov has been studying Armenian history from ancient to modern
times. The department is training specialists with knowledge of
Armenian language, who will become competent and skilled experts in
the South Caucasus, Alexey Vlasov, Editor-in-Chief of Vestnik Kavkaza
said, greeting participants of the meeting.

The interest in studying Armenia and the South Caucasus is obvious.
Russia and Armenia were developing as a single state for centuries.
Russia had Armenian quarters, there were Russian-Armenian families
forming. Chairman of the Russian State Duma Boris Gryzlov believes
that Armenia is a Russian outpost in the South Caucasus, a member of
OSCE and an observer of EurAsEs, Vlasov reminded guests.

The countries are developing social and cultural ties. A
Russian-Armenian state university has been operating since 1999 in
Yerevan. Armenian students have special free places for studying in
Russian higher education centers, the number of Russian language
schools and classes is rising in Armenia. Although Armenia is a
monoethical state, Russian speaking civilians in the republic are
united in the organization of compatriots. There are Russian
publications, TV channels, information agencies such as Regnum and RIA
Novosti. The most important factor determining Russian-Armenian
friendship are the economic projects based on legislature, supported
by inter-government and inter-state agreements, including the ones
guaranteeing protection of Russian business in Armenia, Vlasov went
on.


The number of enterprises with Russian capital in Armenia exceeds
1,500. Russian offices are opening in Armenia, Russian banks are
opening credit lines for Armenian finance institutions. For example,
Gazprom Bank is the owner of Areksim bank. Russian investors are
actively investing into projects related to fuel and energy complexes,
in particular, the Razdan combined heat and power plant, functioning
of stable cell phone communication. In other words, it is full-fledged
bilateral cooperation, which can be viewed as the perspective
promotion of Russian interests not only in Armenia, but also in the
South Caucasian region as a whole, the editor-in-chief said.

The prospects of bilateral cooperation are, first of all, partnership,
the aspects of which have been determined and agreed on in the last
decade. This includes the prolongation of the Russian military base's
presence in Armenia. Russia will play the role of a fair judge in
resolving South Caucasus conflicts, including the situation around
South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

After signing the Mayedorf Declaration, Russia maintains the necessary
pace of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process between Armenia and
Azerbaijan.


The world around us is obviously changing and it is impossible to
fully predict the trends and changes. It is obvious that the main
defense against new risks and challenges are the instruments of
integration both in bilateral and unilateral format. Joint efforts
will allow us to preserve the basis of international cooperation,
which was being built for centuries between the two brotherly peoples.
There are hopes that the meeting will be the first step in
establishing systemic ties between the history department of Moscow
State University and the Armenian embassy, Vlasov concluded.


Author: Alexey Vlasov.

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