Duma to Approve Armenia Russia Agreemen’s by April

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan) – While on a working visit in Moscow–an Armenian parliamentary delegation–headed by the National Assembly deputy speaker Ara Sahakian–Tuesday met with the Russian State Duma’s chairman Gennady Seleznev–Duma commission chairmen Vladimir Loukin–Georgy Tikhonov and other members of Parliament. Following the meeting–Seleznev informed the media of plans to ratify two military agreemen’s between the two countries in April.

The chairman called on Duma members who had doubts about the agreemen’s–to resolve them while their Armenian counterparts were in the country. Asked about Azerbaijan’s claims of illegal arms transfer–Seleznev stressed that an investigation is under way and no conclusion can be drawn until the investigation yields results.

According to Sahakian–the talks also touched on possible Russian military bases in Armenia–and the housing and financing of Russian troops on those bases. He said that Armenia has assumed part of the expenses.

During a meeting with the Commission on the CIS the sides spoke of Russia- Armenia military–economic and political cooperation. In particular–they touched upon the settlement of the Karabakh conflict–Russia’s stance on the issue at the Lisbon summit–and Armenia’s position on NATO expansion. The sides decided to cooperate more closely over re-exploitation of the Sukhumi-Yerevan railway for which a closer cooperation of Russia–Abkhazia–Georgia and Armenia is needed.

The Armenian parliamentarians also met with Deputy Chairman of Duma’s commission on defense Mikhail Surkov and during the meeting Surkov explained the commission structure–the work done and cooperation with similar committees of CIS parliamen’s.

Following meetings with their counterparts–on Wednesday the Armenian parliamentarians met with Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Valery Serov. He particularly noted that Russia is planning to take part in the privatization of several enterprises in Armenia and is giving a helping hand in reconstructing Armenia’s power system. The delegation participated in a Duma session–and had a meeting with Deputy Speaker Sergey Babourin.

The delegation was also scheduled to meet with the Minister of CIS Relations Aman Touliyev–as well as the communist faction of the Duma. Sahakian and Babourin will hold a press conference at the end of the visit.

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