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Putin, Sarkisian Discuss Closer Ties In Phone Call


Russia -- President Vladimir Putin (R) meets his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian near Moscow, 12Mar2013.

Russia -- President Vladimir Putin (R) meets his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian near Moscow, 12Mar2013.

Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia discussed ways of strengthening the already close ties between their countries in a phone conversation on Tuesday.

Official sources said that Sarkisian phoned his Russian counterpart to congratulate him on a major public holiday marked in Russia.

“In the light of the results of Serzh Sarkisian’s [March] visit to Russia, they discussed issues of further reinforcing Russian-Armenian cooperation in various spheres,” the Kremlin said in a short statement.

Sarkisian’s press office similarly said that the two men spoke about “deepening relations between the two strategic allies and expanding their cooperation in all areas.” No other details were reported.

Putin and Sarkisian most recently met near Moscow on March 12. In his opening remarks at that meeting, the Russian leader praised his country’s “special relations” with Armenia. He welcomed a 20 percent increase in Russian-Armenian trade registered last year. Sarkisian, for his part, thanked Putin for “good progress” in bilateral military cooperation.

Official press releases on those talks made no mention of Armenia’s possible accession to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Sarkisian denied afterwards speculation that Yerevan is under strong Russian pressure to join the union.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his Armenian counterpart Tigran Sarkisian discussed the issue at a meeting in Minsk late last month. Sarkisian announced that the two sides have agreed to sign a memorandum on Armenia’s “integration” with the Customs Union.
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