Currently, "there are no visible obstacles that could hamper dynamic development of Russo-Armenian relations," said Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, while speaking Thursday at the Russian Foreign Ministry Diplomatic Academy. According to him, the current visit is taking place "when both parties enjoy mutual understanding and are ready to do their utmost to tackle the matters facing them". "We are speaking about expressing common approaches rather than about co-ordinating our positions," Kocharyan stressed.
While discussing the multiple spheres of Russo-Armenian co-operation, Kocharyan emphasised that Moscow and Yerevan had virtually no disagreements on issues of political and military-technological co-operation. "We have accomplished the legal-contractual framework of our relations and are polishing the facets of bilateral relations," Kocharyan noted.
He acknowledged at the same time that economic co-operation had to be stepped up. According to him, trade turnover between the two countries is constantly growing, though Russia does not hold the first place in the overall volume of Armenia's foreign trade (its major economic partner is the European Union).
The Armenian President believes that "transport-related problems and the absence of railway communication are in the way of boosting economic co-operation between Russia and Armenia." "Therefore," he said, "the branches with minimal transport component are being most actively developed." Nevertheless, Russia is a major investor in Armenia's economy. According to Kocharyan, Russian capital works in over 500 Armenian companies. These are enterprises of metallurgy, chemical and diamond industries, and banks.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.