President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian talked about major issues related to the relations between Yerevan and Moscow in an interview with Zvezda TV.
Zvezda: The first question concerns Russian-Armenian relations. How would you assess them now and what are their perspectives?
Armen Sarkissian: I have assessed, assess and will assess them as a constant value. They are constant because Russians and Armenians are historically brothers and friends. I assess them as a greatness that can’t change over time. Those relations are a part of our culture, history, philosophy, past, present and future.
Zvezda: What are the perspectives today? How would you assess them?
Armen Sarkissian: There is only one answer. I see tremendous potential for the country’s development for many reasons. It is safe to say that the Armenian people are a people who are able to rise after every hardship, even after the Armenian Genocide of 1915. After that, it [Armenia] scattered across the globe, but it turned into the magical Phoenix and is looking forward. Always forward.
On this road, there are always hardships, but I believe we are a people who are able to overcome those hardships on their own and with friends, and Russia is a friend. I believe we Armenians can have many advantages in the 21st century because Armenia might be a small country, but it is a global nation. There are almost the same number of Armenians living in the Russian Federation and some of them are citizens of the Russian Federation. I really want to believe that they are good citizens because they should first and foremost be good citizens of the Russian Federation, and obviously, they shouldn’t forget their historical roots and culture.
There are also many Armenians in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, and this is a tremendous power. The 21st century is the century of nations that have ties around the world. It is the century of nations that can work, are able to overcome hardships and are able to fight for themselves and their friends. So, I believe the future will be bright. There is no other answer you could expect from a president.
Zvezda: Earlier, it was said that Armenia needs foreign investments. Are Russian businessmen ready to make investments? If yes, in which sectors?
Armen Sarkissian: I don’t think I have to comment on Russian businessmen’s perspectives. I can say that Russian businesses have been operating in Armenia for many years now. There are investments from Europe, the Far East, the Middle East and the US, but Russian business has always been around, and we Armenians often haven’t noticed those investments. Those investments are large investments, and I believe there will be many investments in the years to come.
Zvezda: I read that you are preparing to pay a visit to Moscow. How often do you manage to visit Russia and what is the first thing you would like to see in our country?
Armen Sarkissian: I’m not planning an official visit soon, but I visit Moscow often. I don’t believe Moscow and St. Petersburg are the cities that I want to visit and see something because I have known both cities very well since childhood. The first time I visited Leningrad and Moscow was with my father. Later, I visited as an undergraduate and then as a PhD student. Besides that, our family is, to a certain extent, linked to Russia.
So, I visit Russia and particularly Moscow like I go home. What do I want every time? Well…I will attend a good concert, if there is one. I love everything. I love classical music. The last time my wife and I were in Moscow we visited the Bolshoi Theater and viewed the phenomenal play “Anna Karenina”. I would like for the Pushkin Museum and the Tretyakov Gallery to hold grand exhibitions in Yerevan.