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In the context of the Armenian-Russian strategic cooperation, the official Yerevan positively evaluates both the Russian-Turkish relations and the personal relations between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Victor Soghomonian, Press Secretary of RA President, said at the press conference. He said that the further development of the Russian-Turkish relations, may serve as certain “resources for mediator’s” in overcoming the contradictions in the Armenian-Turkish relations. Besides, Yerevan positively accepts both Russian-Turkish and Russian-Azeri cooperation.

Mr. Soghomonian confirmed Yerevan’s position to establish diplomatic relations with Ankara without any pre-conditions. In response to the question whether the demand to include the issue of the Armenian genocide in the agenda of the foreign policy, Mr. Soghomonian cited an extract from Robert Kocharian’s speech at the international scientific conference dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, held in Yerevan. “We remember the past with pain, but without any hatred,” Robert Kocharian said. Mr. Soghomonian added that such a position explains Armenia’s readiness to unfold dialogue with Turkey, but without forgetting the memory of the victims and calling events of 1915 a genocide.

Mr. Soghomonian said that Mr. Kocharian is treating the current stage of Nagorno Karabakh settlement with “careful optimism.” He didn’t comment on the statements of the Azeri side, saying that Baku usually denies them with the official statements of their own Azeri officials. As for the recent anti –Armenian statements that appeared in the Russian press, Mr. Soghomonian promised to treat them as an attitude of a separate newspaper or an author.

Mr. Soghomonian also announced the schedule of Robert Kocharian’s visits envisaged for the rest of 2005. Mr. President is going to visit Slovenia, Belgium and Greece.

By Tatoul Hakobian

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