April 19, held a plenary session of the first Armenian-Russian interregional forum "To new achievements of interregional cooperation in Armenian-Russian allied relations", organized by the development Fund "Institute of Eurasian studies" and Rossotrudnichestvo (the Russian side), the government of RA and Armenian development Agency (the Armenian side), with the support and under the auspices of the Russian presidential administration and the RA President's administration. But first, in the morning, the forum participants laid wreaths to the Memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
At the opening ceremony in the CCM them. K. Demirchyan was attended by President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and the head of the presidential administration of Russia Sergey Naryshkin. The participants of the forum were more than 500 people, including the co-chairs of the Armenian-Russian intergovernmental Commission on economic cooperation, RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and RF transport Minister Igor Levitin, heads of ministries and departments, governors, entrepreneurs, experts and representatives of non-governmental organizations. Note that, in particular, arrived in Yerevan by the representatives of 20 regional administrations of the RF subjects (though only 5 of them in the first person).
...The Russians can't complain about the attitude in Armenia: they are comfortable here, they are welcome here. About 1,400 enterprises on the territory of the small Republic with Armenian-Russian or purely Russian capital, approximately one third of all joint ventures, you will agree, is no joke. Accumulated over the past 20 years, the investment portfolio of Russia in Armenia is filled with $2.8 billion: over 60% of all investments in our Republic are of Russian origin. Last year the trade turnover between the two countries reached $860 million and growing, and, interestingly, exports from Armenia to Russia increased by 40%. All of this underscores the exceptional role of Russia in the Armenian economy.
However important the unique mission of the forum, which was attended by representatives of Federal and regional bodies of state power, was the identification and involvement of the hitherto untapped potential of cooperation, especially in terms of decentralized interactions and development of direct economic relations at level of regions of the two countries on a wide range of issues.
As underlined in his speech the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, the forum is an applied, practical nature, as evidenced by the two dozen signed bilateral documents - agreements and memoranda on cooperation, held on the sidelines of the forum the Russian-Armenian interregional exhibition of industrial innovations and the very specific topics of round-tables. "We hope that the forum will become a regular and every time we will fix the extension as the geography of its participants, and contents of interregional cooperation," - said the President of Armenia. (By the way, in its final Declaration, the participants of the forum considered it appropriate to conduct them annually in Armenia and in different regions of Russia).
In turn, Sergei Naryshkin read out a congratulatory message to the participants of the forum Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who also expressed hope that forums of this format will help you to solve a number of challenges facing both countries challenges, including modernising and improving the competitiveness of economies and the quality of life of people. "Partner regions are continually expanding field of joint activity, but we must reach a higher level of partnership", - said S. Naryshkin.
The co-chair (from Armenian side) of the intergovernmental Commission on economic cooperation between Armenia and Russia, the Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan spoke about 7 key packages of reforms undertaken by the authorities of the Republic. In this case, I must say, somewhat ridiculous sounded proud statement of arcapita that the government first turned to the state industrial policy, in particular, preferential starting to approach upgrading and innovative enterprises.
And his colleague at the inter-governmental Commission (co-chair from the Russian side), Russian transport Minister Igor Levitin reported that all the decisions of the last meeting of the intergovernmental Commission is made: from the Federal budget of the Russian Federation allocated 74 million rubles (about $2.5 million - Ed.) Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University (RAU), signed a cooperation agreement in Yerevan CCI with the Ural and South Ural chamber of Commerce, published and distributed free of charge 5 thousand primers for Armenian schools with advanced study of Russian language, etc. by the Way, Igor Levitin, owing to the unique Yerevan forum has put forward idea "to go ahead and form a part of the intergovernmental Commission a joint working group on inter-regional cooperation".
From its part Sergey Glazyev, Deputy Secretary General of EurAsEC, Executive Secretary of the Commission of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Director of the Institute of new Economics of state University of management, academician noted that, despite the absence of a common land border with Russia and the CIS, Armenia has always supported active and consistent supporter of economic integration processes, demonstrates a high degree of understanding and willingness to cooperate, whether in the framework of EurAsEC anti-Crisis Fund of the CIS or other structure. "I even get the impression that integration and commitment to the integration effect for the Armenians became some kind of national idea", - said S. Glazyev.
So where lies the still untapped potential of interregional cooperation of Armenia and Russia? According to the Minister of regional development RF Viktor Basargin, it is possible, in particular, to significantly expand cooperation in the housing sector: every Russian region has in this area its specific program, and Armenian construction company can be in this plan can be very useful.
Very good was proposal of the rector of RAU Armen Darbinyan, who proposed to consider Armenia not only as the Caucasian Republic, but also as a country of the Christian East with its relevant communication and other abilities. From this point of view, in the opinion of the former Prime Minister, does not justified the lack of Armenian specialists, for example, on the construction of NPP in Bushehr (Iran). Meanwhile, Armenian business today has reached a point that could work together with the Russians to create consortia for participation in tenders in the Arab East (mining, construction of hydroelectric, etc.). In addition, A. Darbinyan proposed to solve the question of joint General registration with the state Corporation "Rosnano" the fruits of intellectual property and their export from the territory of Armenia.
Perhaps, one of the model in terms of cooperation with Armenia is of the Ulyanovsk region of the Russian Federation, two years ago signed the relevant agreement with the Shirak region of Armenia, all major obligations now fulfilled, in particular, built the Hill of honor in Gyumri. And that the integration effect is quite measurable (and considerable!) the consequences, quite clearly demonstrates the following fact: over the past two years, the export of Armenian goods in the Ulyanovsk oblast increased by 20 times! Today, the Armenians build a plant for the manufacture of soft drinks, as well as in the area of Korsun region is the largest hosiery factory. In Ulyanovsk functioning Armenian trading house, two excellent restaurants, and stores successfully implemented the products of CJSC "Artsakh fruit". Now there is a registration of a land plot for the construction of the Armenian Church, the construction of which will begin this fall.
Energetic Governor - Chairman of government of Ulyanovsk region, Sergey Morozov, who told the forum participants about all these achievements, there really is something to be proud of today. But he, it seems, has no intention to rest on our laurels. The Governor proposes Armenia to assist in the training of specialists in civil aviation use created in Ulyanovsk transport and logistics center to promote mutual trade, to take part in works created in the field of International research center of diatomite and whatnot...
Before the break up of the thematic round tables (infrastructure, energy, tourism and humanitarian ties), was signed several memoranda ( including on the construction of the railway section Vanadzor - Fioletovo), as well as a number of agreements about trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation between the RA government and the Chelyabinsk region, the government of RA and Krasnodar Krai, between the Vayotz Dzor Marz Republic of Armenia and the Nizhny Novgorod region of the Russian Federation (up until this point only 5 of Marzes had agreements with the regions of the Russian Federation), etc.