Russia’s Putin in Armenia

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Russia’s President Vladimir Putin arrived in Armenia late Thursday on a brief working visit which–according to Armenian officials–will cement the close relationship between the two allies.

Putin will meet with President Robert Kocharian on Thursday to discuss mostly economic issues–notably Russian-Armenian cooperation in the energy sector–according to a Kremlin official cited by the Russian Itar-Tass news agency. Further development of bilateral military ties will also be on the agenda–the official said. It is unclear whether the two plan to sign any agreemen’s.

The Armenian side is expected to again raise its concerns about the implementation of a 2002 swap agreement that settled Yerevan’s $100 million debt to Russia. Armenian officials have repeatedly complained that the Russia’s are slow in revitalizing the five Armenian enterprises that were handed over to them in payment for the debt.

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