Prime Minister of Armenia NIkol Pashinyan met with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on September 30. Lukashenko is in Armenia to participate in the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting.
As ARMENPRESS was informed from the Office of the Prime Minister of Armenia, greeting the President of Belarus, Nikol Pashinyan said,
''Honorable Alexander Grigoryevich,
I am very glad to meet with you in Armenia's capital, Yerevan. The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting will take place tomorrow. I think it's a very important meeting, since the free trade agreement between Iran and the EAEU enters into force from October, while tomorrow we plan to sign a similar agreement with Singapore. This means that the EAEU expands the circle of its partners and I am very happy that it takes place during the period of Armenia's presidency over the Eurasian Economic Union. I am confident it will raise the attractiveness of the EAEU and new business opportunities will be created for the EAEU member states. I am very glad for this meeting, because we will be able to discuss a range of issues referring to our relations, which are on quite a good level. Of course, we always say that we should not be satisfied with our achievements and should continue developing relations. Of course, Belarus is our strategic partner and a very important partner and we cooperate very effectively. I hope that cooperation will become more and more productive''.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said, ''Honorable Nikol Vovayevich,
Thank you for this very important meeting before tomorrow’s meeting of Heads of State of our economic union. I want to congratulate you for the very productive presidency (over the union-edit). I know how interested you were and how actively you worked with Singapore for signing the agreement. Frankly speaking, when I was reported on that we have to elaborate a free trade agreement with Singapore, I said ''Focus on Nikol Pashinyan, focus on Armenia'', because our economies have many similarities and I do not think that Armenia can do something bad for itself that can harm us as well. For that reason we focused on your elaborations, but of course, we also analyzed the situation and always supported you. You cannot deny that. We always supported each of your applications and I have to say that this is the 1st case when during a period of one year you were able to not only move forward, but also elaborate the relevant agreement. Frankly speaking, for such a good agreement Singapore should be 1st off all thankful to Armenia. But I have to also emphasize that all the countries will benefit from the agreement, otherwise, no one would even observe it. And for that reason this agreement was elaborated in an optimal period of time.
I attentively follow the situation in Armenia in the context of relations with Belarus. I know that Armenians have always had a good attitude towards the people of Belarus. Our peoples have many similarities – hard working and with many sufferings left behind. You often and rightfully mention the sufferings that you felt on your own skin over 100 years ago. We often speak about what happened 75-80 years ago during fascism and genocide in Belarus which affected also Armenians. From this viewpoint the histories and peoples are very similar and of course, we are interested in developing the relations.
Today our trade turnover is not so great, as you noted, but it could be none. In both our and your countries many thought that we would not cooperate, that Yerevan will cooperate with its neighboring countries, but back then we said no, we have to gradually establish relations. And today, already after your becoming the Prime Minister, I observed the statistics and we have 140% increase of trade turnover. This is a very good dynamic. We found the ways, particularly when we entered the EAEU, and I have to assure you that it will continue the same way in the future. We will support you, your business in Belarus and if our companies are interesting for you, we will come to Armenia and will create joint ventures.
Nikol Vovayevich, I am saying this so as you never think that our policy towards Armenia has changed. You know that even if you refuse to cooperate with us, we will insist on being close and friendly countries and you have to always know that we are ready to always stand with Armenia.
It happened so that you became my good friend and the president of Azerbaijan has been a good friend for many years. And what can I do? I have very good attitude towards both Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the leadership of Azerbaijan starting from the time when Heydar Aliyev was their president and we started working with him. We have good relations with you as well. You should not worry that we can make friends with someone against the interests of Armenia. Never. Come to Belarus, show what you need and we are ready to work for the benefit of Armenia. Believe, this is what our relations are.
I referred to such a non-diplomatic issue, maybe I should not have done it, but I do not want that completely unclarified issues remain between us. We are obliged to reflect the expectations of Armenians and Belarusians, and we have to be friends, since our peoples are friends. We are leaders of countries who have to fulfil the will of the people. This is not just a conversation. You have to believe in my sincerity and you should know that we will always have a good attitude towards you, like relatives, like brothers.
The President of your country came to Belarus and met with the Armenian Diaspora and asked them what objections they have against the authorities and no Armenian stood and said anything. By the way, they are our Armenians, the Armenians of Belarus and they said that they have no issues with the President and the authorities. And it will always be like this''.
Thanking Alexander Lukasheno for the warm words, Nikol Pashinyan said, ''I am thankful, Alexander Grigoryevich, for the warm words. You talked about the agreement with Singapore. I want to note that it is really fair, it is the result of a team work, since all the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union, all the governments and the Eurasian Economic Commission very intensively worked on the document, but not only Armenia and the Government of Armenia. I want to also thank you for the cooperation. As refers to speaking directly, we agreed long ago that I greatly value it, it's a very open style and we should interact just that way. I think it's very important that we have no dark corners in our relations and we always discuss all the issues openly. You know that we have quite uneasy relations with Azerbaijan, directly speaking – conflicting relations. We discussed that issue also in the frameworks of the CSTO. Of course, each country should take into account its own interests, but I want to emphasized that, like we spoke about it before, we have also united interests and I am glad that we can work together and discuss all the nuances for reaching a joint conclusion. Of course, not all issues are easy, and generally, it's not an easy task to do the work we do. I am confident we have enough prudency, courage and will to solve all the issues, and solve in a way that the friendship and brotherhood between our countries and peoples continue developing and strengthening. I am confident in that''.