YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"The presence of Russian border troops in the region is a firm guarantee of stability in the region," said President Robert Kocharian Friday during an address at a gathering held on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the formation of the Russian border troops.
Kocharian stressed that Russia is Armenia’s strategic partner–adding that those relations were stipulated by an agreement signed in Moscow last August. He also stated that the two countries had mutual interests in the region–all of which have been reflected in the decisions made since Armenia became independent in 1991.
Kocharian voiced confidence that relations between the two countries would remain stable and friendly on all levels and "together–we can continue strengthening the good traditions that have been developed for so many years".
In connection with the 80th anniversary of the formation of Russia’s border troops–the president of Armenia decorated Major-General Yevgeni Potekhin–the commander of the Russian border troops stationed in Armenia–with the medal "For Military Service." Several other Russian servicemen received awards and valuable presents.
General Potekhin stated that the Russian border troops in Armenia were manned by an equal number of servicemen from the two countries–which made the guarding of borders more effective and strengthened cooperation between the two nations.
Speaking to journalists–the Russian general said that no reduction in the Russian contingent was expected."
He said it was expected that the status would be increased–which would make it possible to garner more prompt solutions to all problems connected with safeguarding of the borders.