Armenia Karabakh Agree On Closer Economic Ties

STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL)–Prime Minister Andranik Markarian was in Stepanakert over the weekend–agreeing more plans to link Nagorno-Karabakh even closer to Armenia. Markarian and leaders of the unrecognized republic approved a 70-point program of economic cooperation after two days of what they described as "difficult" negotiations.

Officials denied that those difficulties mainly revolved around delays in the release of annual subsidies from Armenia which account for at least half of Karabakh’s state budget equaling approximately $25 million this year. They also claimed that Stepanakert’s debt for electricity supplies from Armenia was not a subject of disagreemen’s.

The Armenian premier told reporters after the talks the two sides are "moving ahead step by step in solving accumulated problems." His Karabakh counterpart–Anushavan Danielian–said Armenian and Karabakh government agencies have each been assigned to develop bilateral plans of action in their respective areas.

Karabakh President Arkady Ghoukassian–for its part–said Stepanakert wants to deepen commercial links with Yerevan to reduce the significance of economic aid from Armenia.

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