Ukraine Hopes for Strategic Partnership with Armenia

KIEV (XINHUA)–Ukraine hopes to establish a strategic partnership with Armenia–stated Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma Wednesday at a meeting with his Armenian counterpart–Levon Ter-Petrosyan.

Kuchma said there were no political differences between Ukraine and Armenia to hold up the development of a strategic partnership–and that in light of Ter-Petrosyan’s arrival in Ukraine Wednesday for a two-day visit–the two sides should work towards promoting relations with each other.

Ukraine and Armenia enjoyed a powerful military pact during the Soviet era–and so–officials on both sides are optimistic that the potential for military cooperation exists. But leaders stressed Wednesday that the aim of any military agreement would be to maintain and enhance peace only.

Kuchma–whose country has been suffering from a sluggish economy since it declared independence in 1991–also stressed the importance of developing economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

Trade volume between the two former Soviet republics stood at $29 million in 1996–and at $4 million in the first five months of this year.

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