Kocharian Meets with Russia’s Putin

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–President Robert Kocharian met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Friday in the Russian Black Sea city Sochi–Armenpress reported. The presidents discussed the situation in the Northern Caucasus–as well as issues related to the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Eurasian Economic Cooperation to which Armenia is an observing member.

President Putin expressed concern about a drop in his country’s trade with Armenia in the first half of this year–saying that it must be diversified.

"Against the background of very good progress made in the political and other areas–certain developmen’s such as a decline in our turnover of goods in the first half of the year worries us," Putin said at a joint news conference with Kocharian.

The volume of Russian-Armenian trade shrunk against the backdrop of a 5 percent increase in Armenia’s overall first-half commercial exchange with other countries. The Armenian government has not yet released a country-by-country breakdown of its trade figures for this year.

The two leaders also discussed the closer military links existing between their nations–with Putin promising to fulfill Yerevan’s request to train at least 140 more Armenian military officers in Russia. "We will fully meet the request of the Armenian Defense Ministry to train experts," he said.

Kocharian called for heavier workloads for Armenian cadets studying at Russian military academies.

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