Russia, Armenia discuss economic interaction

Russia, Armenia discuss econ interaction
By Veronika Romanenkova

ITAR-TASS News Agency
May 14, 2004 Friday

OGARYOVO, May 14 – Issues of the development of trade and economic
ties were high on the agenda of a meeting between the Russian and
Armenian presidents here on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, welcoming the visiting Armenian
leader, said he was confident that their top-level talks on Friday
would contribute to more intensive development of bilateral economic

“Not only I am hoping, I’m confident that your working visit today
will help our interaction and intensify our relations,” Putin said.

In 2003, bilateral trade turnover increased by more than 34 percent,
Putin said, adding that it was a record indicator and the best sign
that “we are proceeding in the right direction.”

In his view however, Moscow and Yerevan have many opportunities to
work better and more effectively.

For his part, Robert Kocharyan noted that “the big deal” under which
Armenia repays its debt by giving part of its property to Russia was,
on the whole, an impulse to the development of not only military but
also economic cooperation.

“Until that time, we only talked about military cooperation while
mentioning that economic interaction was lagging behind,” the Armenian
president said.

“Now I can state with full confidence that we began to move in all
directions very synchronously. It serves as a very serious impulse
to effective cooperation and its diversification,” he said.

Kocharyan noted “interesting events in the economic sphere,” such as
the appearance of Russia’s Vneshtorgbank on the Armenian market.

A very interesting contract in the sphere of chemistry has been signed
with the help of Russian investments, implying that “grand chemistry
has come to Armenia,” Kocharyan said.

There are interesting examples of investment activities by Russian
business people in construction and other spheres, according to
the president.

Putin underlined that his meetings with Kocharyan were regular. “We are
meeting for the fifth time in the recent past, to discuss bilateral
ties and coordinate activities on the post-Soviet territory and
international arena,” Putin said.

He added that he was very glad to see Robert Kocharyan.

Kocharyan congratulated Putin on his inauguration as head of the
Russian state for a second term. “I also wish to thank you for the
invitation /to visit Russia/,” he added.

The Armenian president became Putin’s first foreign guest after his
inauguration on May 7. The head of the Russian state welcomed the
Armenian leader on the threshold of his Novo-Ogaryovo residence. The
two presidents then retreated for talks in a conference hall. Taking
part in the negotiations for Russia were Security Council Secretary
Igor Ivanov and presidential adviser Sergei Prikhodko.