MOSCOW (RFE/RL)–Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov underlined the “strategic” character of his country’s relationship with Armenia during talks with his visiting Armenian counterpart, Seyran Ohanian, on Wednesday.
Ohanian was in Moscow on a working visit aimed at reviewing Armenia’s close military ties with Russia and their future.
“The ministers discussed the prospects of military and military-technological cooperation between Russia and Armenia, as well as the issue of Armenian servicemen studying at the Russian Defense Ministry’s academies,” the Interfax news agency quoted Russian Defense Ministry spokeswoman Irina Kovalchuk as saying.
The Armenian Defense Ministry issued a virtually identical statement on the talks. “Anatoly Serdyukov stressed that Russian-Armenian cooperation in the military sphere has a strategic character,” it said. No further details were reported.
Moscow and Yerevan already highlighted that cooperation last month when they agreed to work together in exporting weapons and other military equipment to third countries. Ohanian and a visiting senior Russian official signed relevant deal in Yerevan during a meeting of a Russian-Armenian inter-governmental commission on military-technical cooperation. No details of the agreement were made public, with Ohanian saying only that it will further deepen bilateral defense links.
Ohanian’s talks in Moscow coincided with the start of a two-day visit to Armenia by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The latter is due to hold meetings with President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian which the Russian Foreign Ministry said will focus on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
A ministry spokesman positively assessed on Wednesday the current state of Russian-Armenian relations. “Despite global crisis manifestations, Russian-Armenian interaction in the trade-economic, military-political, humanitarian and inter-regional areas is on a largely positive development trend,” Andrey Nesterenko said, according to Itar-Tass.