YEREVAN (Yerkir)–Chairman of the International Relations Committee of the Russian Parliament Dmitry Rogozin–who was on a working visit to Armenia–met with members of the ARF Executive Council of Armenia. At a news conference held after his meetings with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–Rogozin said his conversation with President Kocharian was maximally open. The Russian official also commented on relations with countries of the Transcaucasus–and on Russian policy.
He stressed that Russia activated its `Armenian policy’ during the last few weeks. At the eve of the Kocharian-Aliyev meeting in Key West–several Russian delegations arrived in Yerevan–among them a military one Rogozin noted. "We think that Russian diplomacy of the past several years–the priority of which were NATO–USA–and Europe–was not a right one. Not enough attention was being paid to Russia’s neighboring countries. From the angle of national interest the relations with Armenia’should be and will be a priority one for Russia," added Rogozin.
Rogozin said that even though Russia gave up imperial claims–it should still remain interested in the Karabakh conflict. "If the participation of Russia is needed in securing the communication roads between Karabakh and Armenia or Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan–and if the sides trust us–then of course it will be expedient for the simple reason that Russia has had a presence in the South Caucasus for a long time. Armenia’s and Azeris know Russia’s claims. When a third or a tenth side mediates a conflict’s regulation–than it naturally draws forward its claims–and the issue becomes an international one. If Seljuk Turks appear here–I assure you that the situation is going to explode," said Rogozin.
Dmitry Rogozin also touched upon relations with Turkey and the issue of the Armenian Genocide. Rogozin stressed the serious alliance that exists between the United States and Turkey. "When we speak of NATO members in the region–we are referring to Turkey," added Rogozin. According to Rogozin–the Russian Duma has not changed its position regarding the Armenian Genocide–and relations with Turkey are only symbolic.
An agreement between the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Congress of Russian Communities was reached in 1996. The agreement consists of points calling on the fair resolution of the Karabakh conflict–and issues regarding recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Rogozin said he valued the relationship that exists between the two organizations–and hoped his organization would be able to work as efficiently in Armenia as the ARF does in Moscow. He mentioned how the ARF in Moscow works toward benefiting Armenia and Armenia’s–and does not only take into account party interests. Rogozin called on Russian and Armenian leaders to expand cooperation.