Armenian PM to Meet Putin for Economic Talks

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan will lead a delegation of top government officials Friday on a one day working visit to Moscow for high level talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and other government and business leaders, the government’s press office reported Thursday.

Sargsyan’s delegation will include members of government whose ministries’ control Armenia’s energy resources, transport and communication infrastructure, and financial and banking system.

The trip will focus on strengthening economic relations, Sargsyan’s office said, adding that the Prime Minister’s meetings would also expand “the mutually beneficial and promising cooperation in a number of spheres.”

Russia currently controls most of the strategically vital sectors of Armenia’s economy, owning the rights to manage its railway and telecommunication infrastructure, as well as its natural resources and energy.

Russian investors have snatched up Armenian mining companies, gaining the rights to exploit the country’s natural resources. Meanwhile, nearly 80 percent of Armenia’s energy system is also estimated to be under Russian control, with Russia maintaining control over the Hrazdan hydropower plant, one of the largest in the South Caucasus. Armenia depends on Russia for nuclear fuel and technological support for its existing nuclear power station, which is managed by the Russian company UES.

The Prime Minister’s talks with Putin will be followed by meetings with the Russian Transport Minister, the Co-Chair of the Armenian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, the Russian Central Bank President. Sargsyan will also meet with a number of Russian businessmen, as well as the Armenian Ambassador in Russia, ArmRadio reported.

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