Russian Won’t Cut Military Presence in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Russia will not cut its military presence in the Caucasus–especially Armenia–announced the Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev during a press conference Tuesday.

Sergeyev called recent articles in Georgian newspapers demanding the complete Russian withdrawal of military forces from that country "unfortunate," adding that "there have been no official requests."

After arriving in Armenia–Sergeyev was immediately escorted to the government’s meeting facilities where he held talks with his Armenian counterpart Vazgen Sargsyan. He also met with Armenian president Robert Kocharian and Prime Minister Armen Darbinian.

"We briefed the president on our talks and we believe that the president was satisfied with our mission," announced Sergeyev.

The Russian minister stated that in the coming days he would be meeting with experts to discuss implementation of certain joint military programs.

Sergeyev awarded Sargsyan–his chief of staff–Mikael Harutunian and Deputy Defense Minister Vahan Shirkhanian with the Military Cooperation Advancement medal.

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