Russia’s President Vladimir Putin telephoned his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian on Tuesday to congratulate him on winning a second term in office.
“The heads of state agreed to continue personal contacts,” the Kremlin said in a short statement on the phone call that was also reported by Sarkisian’s press office.
The statement said that Putin also sent a written congratulatory message to Sarkisian. “In particular, the head of the Russian state pointed out that the results of the [Armenian presidential] elections testify to Serzh Sarkisian’s high authority among the population and active support for his socioeconomic and foreign policies,” it said.
“Besides, the Russian President expressed confidence that Russian-Armenian relations will continue to be strengthened with joint efforts to the benefit of the peoples’ of the two countries,” added the statement.
Putin and Sarkisian most recently met in Moscow in late December on the sidelines of a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of Russia and five other ex-Soviet states. The two leaders are thought to have discussed, among other things, Armenia’s possible accession to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Yerevan appears to have faced pressure from Moscow to join the trade bloc which Putin hopes will eventually develop into a larger Eurasian Union of former Soviet republics. Sarkisian and other Armenian leaders have stopped short of promising such membership in their public statements made so far.