Russian President Vladimir Putin heaped praise on his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian on Tuesday when he congratulated the latter on his 61st birthday anniversary.
“Over the course of your career in state service, you have earned well-deserved respect of your fellow citizens and won high authority on the international arena,” Putin wrote to Sarkisian. “I greatly value your personal input into strengthening friendly, allied relations between our nations.”
Putin added that he looks forward to continued dialogue with Sarkisian “for the good of the brotherly peoples of Russia and Armenia.”
He phoned the Armenian leader later in the day. A statement by the Kremlin said the two men praised “the high, advanced level” of Russian-Armenian relations. It said they discussed ways of deepening bilateral ties and furthering “integration processeswithin the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union.”
According to Sarkisian’s press office, the two leaders touched upon Russian-Armenian cooperation “in all areas.” It gave no details.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told the RIA Novosti news agency that Putin and Sarkisian did not talk about ongoing street protests in Yerevan against a further rise in electricity prices initiated by Armenia’s Russian-owned power distribution network. “This is an internal Armenian issue which cannot be discussed with the Russian Federation,” he said.
The issue was on the agenda of a meeting in Yerevan late last week of a Russian-Armenian intergovernmental commission. It was announced after the meeting that the commission agreed on the need for an international audit of the Electric Networks of Armenia utility.