MOSCOW (RFE/RL)–The presidents of Armenia and Russia spoke of their countries’ common geopolitical interests in the South Caucasus as they held talks outside Moscow late on Monday.
“Thank you and Russia for supporting our initiatives to strengthen peace and stability in our region,” President Serzh Sarkisian told his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, at the start of their meeting in the latter’s Gorky retreat.
“We are interested in solving all issues by peaceful means, and here we are not only strategic allies but probably think in the same way,” Sarkisian said.
“Yes, of course, absolutely,” agreed Medvedev.
Sarkisian similarly thanked Moscow for its “big efforts towards settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and relations between Armenia and Turkey” when he received Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Yerevan on Thursday. The Armenian leader seemed particularly buoyed by an effective Russian endorsement of Yerevan’s position on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian ties.
Meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan early last week, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin publicly urged Ankara to stop linking the implementation of its fence-mending agreements with Yerevan to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Lavrov reaffirmed the call in the Armenian capital.
“We are going to discuss with you our current agenda – both economic ties and our contacts in the foreign policy sphere,” Medvedev told Sarkisian. He singled out “serious projects” planned by the two states and international efforts to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“We are going to talk about what to do this year because a lot of good things can be done for our relations and our peoples this year,” Medvedev added.
“I think that we have all the grounds to achieve more serious successes in 2010,” Sarkisian responded. The talks continued behind the closed doors.