Russian Armenian Leaders Sign Agreemen’s

MOSCOW (Itar-Tass)–Talks between the prime ministers of Armenia and Russia culminated into intergovernmental agreemen’s on cooperation in production and no change in the specialization of defense plants.

During meeting with Armenian prime minister Aram Sargsyan–Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of the agreement on defense plants and said "that document would be implemented by 18 Armenian and 20 Russian companies. This would be a qualitatively new level in the development of our relations."

The Armenian energy debt to Russia was another item on the agenda. "We discussed the problem. We established a mechanism satisfying the Armenian and Russian sides. We agreed on a broader involvement of Russia in the Armenian economy–the participation of Russian enterprises and the Russian government in the privatization of property in Armenia," Putin said.

"We are very glad that–despite all the sad events in Armenia–the terrorist act that shocked us all– relations between Russia and Armenia are developing successfully," Putin said when welcoming the Armenian governmental delegation led by Sargsyan on Tuesday.

"Russia views Armenia as a long-standing partner," he said. The Premier thanked the Armenian leadership for "the support to our measures against international terrorism in Northern Caucasus–the posturing of Armenia on the problem in the international arena–including the recent OSCE summit in Istanbul."

He stated with regret a certain drop in the bilateral goods turnover. "There is nothing to worry about. Following the crisis of August 1998–Russian goods turnover with all the close partners dropped a little," Putin said. He expressed hope that bilateral trade and economic relations will develop dynamically thanks to efforts of both sides.

"Russia and Armenia have always been friendly countries–and they have recently become strategic partners in all spheres–from military to economic," Aram Sargsyan said.

The Armenian government delegation includes Minister of Finance Levon Barkhudarian–Minister of Defense Vagharshak Haroutiunian and Energy Minister David Zadoyan.

A meeting with Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev will focus on issues pertaining to Armenia’s military doctrine.

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