Putin To Meet Ukrainian And Armenian Presidents In Sochi

Agence France Presse
Aug 16 2004

Putin To Meet Ukrainian And Armenian Presidents In Sochi

MOSCOW, Aug 16 (AFP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled
to meet with his Ukrainian and Armenian counterparts this week in the
Black Sea resort of Sochi, where he is currently on holiday, the
Kremlin said Monday.

Putin is due to hold talks Wednesday with Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma and Friday with Armenian President Robert Kocharian, a Kremlin
spokeswoman told AFP Monday.

Putin’s meeting with Kuchma comes on the heels of a decision by
Ukraine to sign a three-year contract with the Russian-British oil
company TNK-BP to carry Siberian oil through the Odessa-Brody

The move thwarted European hopes that the pipeline would export oil
from Central Asia and the Caspian Sea to Europe, but was welcomed by
the Kremlin.

Analysts said the move was the latest in a series that have seen the
former Soviet republic lurch back toward Moscow, after spending most
of the post-Soviet years reaching out toward the West, ahead of
presidential elections in October 31.