President Vladimir Putin on Friday gave a Russian state medal to Tigran Sarkisian, a former Armenian prime minister who has headed the executive body of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) for the last four years.
Putin said Sarkisian has helped to strengthen the Russian-led trade bloc and Russian-Armenian relations as he awarded the latter the Order of Friendship during an EEU summit held in Saint-Petersburg.
“Under his leadership, the Eurasian Economic Commission has worked in the last four years smoothly and without hiccups, successfully solving all of the most serious issues on our integration agenda,” he told fellow heads of state from Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.
“Tigran Surenovich [Sarkisian] has done a lot for the EEU to become a truly effective economic grouping, made great efforts to enhance the international authority of the Eurasian Union and built up the EEU’s partnership with other states and integration structures,” he said.
“He demonstrated patience despite the fact that discussions on issues that had to be agreed upon were not easy. Within the framework of heated discussions he found the strength to endure all that,” added Putin.
Putin also praised Sarkisian for paying “constant attention to expanding multi-faceted Russian-Armenian cooperation” in his past capacities as Armenian prime minister and governor of the country’s Central Bank.
Sarkisian, 59, served as prime minister from 2008-2014 during the rule of Serzh Sarkisian (no relation to Tigran), Armenia’s former president deposed by the Pashinian-led “Velvet Revolution” in April 2018.
Tigran Sarkisian took over as chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission in early 2016 and will hold the post until February 2020. He will be replaced by Belarus’s Mikhail Miasnikovich.
Leaders of the EEU member states formally approved Miasnikovich’s candidacy at the summit chaired by Pashinian, whose country has held the EEU’s rotating presidency this year.
“Today we have consensus on all issues on the agenda,” said Pashinian. He too praised Sarkisian’s leadership of the EEU’s executive body when they held a joint news briefing afterwards.