Armenia Russia Interior Ministers Sign Agreement

YEREVAN (Itar-Tass–Noyan Tapan)–Russian interior minister welcomed on Thursday another move toward cooperation between the Russian and Armenian interior ministries as part of a bid to develop good neighborly and mutually advantageous ties with the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States–reported the Itar-Tass news agency.

"The development of good-neighborly–mutually advantageous ties with the CIS states–including–of course–with Armenia–is one of the main directions in Russia’s foreign policy," Colonel- General Vladimir Rushailo told a session of the joint leadership of the two countries’ interior ministries.

"That has been once again clearly stated by Russian Acting President and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the CIS summit in January," Rushailo said. All that also fully refers to fight against crime–he stressed.

Criminals recognize no state borders–and all the more those transparent borders that exist between our countries–the minister continued. He welcomed the setting up of the joint leadership–saying that it was the result of professional understanding by the two countries’ ministries of a necessity to act in coordination.

Rushailo also met with president Robert Kocharian and discussed issues of mutual interest with the Armenian leader.

Armenian Prime Minister Aram Sargsyan held a meeting February 2 with Rushailo–reported the Noyan Tapan news agency.

During the meeting the Russian interior minister stressed the importance of the bilateral cooperation in battling terrorism and organized crime. He pointed out the two countries’ cooperation within the CIS Interior Ministers’ Council and that the struggle against crime should be more efficient both on the bilateral and on multilateral basis.

In his turn–the Armenian prime minister pointed out that terrorism is a great disaster for any country and the struggle against it is an imperative of the times

Meanwhile–Russia expressed its intention to step up efforts to strengthen relations of strategic partnership with Armenia–Secretary of the Russian Security Council said Thursday before his departure for Yerevan–reported the Itar-Tass news agency.

According to the secretary–"closer cooperation between the Security Councils of our countries will serve the cause of strengthening stability both in the Caucasus and all over the world".

Ivanov expressed satisfaction with the successful development of Russian-Armenian cooperation under the Treaty of Collective Security.

"The implementation of an idea of unlimited prolongation of the Treaty and its adaptation to new realities of the international situation and the domestic situation will be a reliable guarantee of security of states members of the Treaty of Collective Security," he stated.

According to the press service of the Russian Security Council–Ivanov’s visit to Armenia at the invitation of Serj Sarkissian–Secretary of the National Security Council at the Armenian president–will last till February 4.

The visit program provides for meetings with Armenian top leaders. During talks–the sides plan to discuss a broad range of issues of cooperation between the two countries in the sphere of security.

It is planned that the sides will sign a Protocol of cooperation between the Russian Security Council and the National Security Council at the Armenian president.

Russia and Armenia were expected to sign a cooperation protocol on Thursday–Armenian presidential press service chief Hasmik Petrosyan told Itar-Tass.

Signatories will be Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov–who arrived in Yerevan earlier in the day–and the National Security Council advisor Serj Sarkissian.

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