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Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday received a Russian governmental delegation led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Greeting the guests, Prime Minister Pashinyan said. “Dear Sergey Victorovich, dear colleagues, welcome to Yerevan. I would like to emphasize that we highly appreciate your visit to our country. It is crucial for us not only to continue cooperating, but also to strengthen our ties, taking into account the specificity of the current situation. We must tackle the situation established in our country and the region, in general.

I wish to thank our Russian partners for the support provided not only during the military crisis, but also during the pandemic. We have all felt the support of the Russian Federation during this period, especially over the past few months, as well as the friendly and allied relations that have traditionally existed between our countries.

We have quite a hectic agenda of discussions. I do believe that we will come to address a lot of issues not only of current, but also of strategic importance, because the regional military-political situation has changed. I think we need to rethink our visions in the context of near and strategic future. In this regard, we have common views, programs, and we need to clarify them during today’s talks. Thank you.”

Sergey Lavrov stated in turn, “Dear Nikol Vovayevich, dear colleagues, first of all I would like to convey to you warm greetings and best wishes on behalf of President Putin, Prime Minister Mishustin. We are here in compliance with a decision made by Vladimir Vladimirovich, you have discussed with him the agenda of today’s meetings. In turn, he talked about it with Prime Minister Mishustin.

Dear Nikol Vovayevich, as you mentioned, we are all interested in reconsidering the whole complex of our relationships following the November 9 statement issued by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, which put an end to the bloodshed and stabilized the situation in all its contexts, including the humanitarian aspect.

You know that the Russian peacekeepers are actively working to implement the agreements specified in the aforementioned statement, including the provision of humanitarian assistance.

Today we will discuss issues related to the establishment of an interdepartmental humanitarian response center. It is a new structure that will work fully to meet the needs of citizens and the restoration of civic infrastructure. We will also consider topical issues of economic cooperation, cooperation in the energy sector, according to the program prepared by our Armenian partners.

I would like to emphasize that we are actively working with international organizations, UN agencies, such as the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Children’s Fund, UNESCO and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

We have contacted all these organizations and their leaders, and today we are ready to exchange ideas on how to optimally organize their contribution to the issues that need to be considered and resolved today. We are grateful for the traditional warm welcome in Yerevan and reaffirm our support for the fraternal Armenian people. My colleagues will present our approaches to economic, energy and humanitarian cooperation, including the joint efforts to combat COVID-19.”

The avenues for the development and deepening of cooperation between Armenia and Russia were discussed at the talk.

Also, reference was made to the direct humanitarian assistance being provided to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), as well as to the exchange of the bodies of the casualties and of the POWs, the measures toward the preservation of the Armenian cultural heritage in Artsakh, and the importance of the consistency of these measures was stressed.

Referring to Turkey's role in maintaining the ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, Russian FM Lavrov stressed that the respective Russian-Turkish monitoring center will operate exclusively remotely.

The parties exchanged views also on the military-political situation in the region and cooperation on its stabilization.

Armenian PM Pashinyan underscored the need for the resumption of normal life in Artsakh and the return of Artsakh Armenians to their homes, noting that the government of Armenia will implement consistent programs with the Artsakh government to restore infrastructure and housing in Artsakh.

On November 9, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement on a complete cessation of hostilities— which Azerbaijan had launched on September 27—in and around Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). Accordingly, Russian peacekeepers are deployed in the region to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire and the cessation of hostilities.

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