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Russian, Armenian presidents to discuss Armenia-Customs Union interaction

September 03, 2013, 0:34 UTC+3

Yerevan regards the upcoming meeting as an important part of the Russian-Armenian high-level political dialogue

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MOSCOW, September 3 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian and Armenian Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsyan, will discuss at a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday key issues on the bilateral agenda, as well as the development of integration processes in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) space.

RF presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told journalists that the sides are expected to discuss, in particular, prospects for Armenia’s interaction with the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. In addition, the two leaders will touch upon the issue of cooperation within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), issues of ensuring security and stability in the South Caucasus, including the further steps to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Russia, as one of the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh (along with France and the United States), has been actively involved in the search for the ways to settle the Karabakh conflict.

“During the talks, the sides are planned to exchange views on the main bilateral agenda issues, including cooperation in the political, trade-economic, energy and humanitarian spheres,” the press service of the Armenian president told Itar-Tass correspondent in Yerevan Tigran Liloyan. “They also intend to discuss integration processes in the CIS space, issues of ensuring security and stability in the South Caucasus.”

Yerevan regards the upcoming meeting as an important part of the Russian-Armenian high-level political dialogue. The two countries are actively developing military cooperation - Russia’s military base and border troops are deployed in Armenia, the two stated formed a united group of troops (forces) within the CSTO.

Ushakov said that in addition to the scheduled talks between Putin and Sargsyan the sides will hold talks in an expanded format.

The previous meeting of the two leaders was held in Moscow on March 12, 2013 - during Sargsyan’s first foreign visit after his re-election as Armenia’s president.

Russia accounts for 25.5 percent in Armenia’s foreign trade balance. Trade turnover between the two countries in 2012 exceeded 1.2 billion US dollars, which is a 22.3-percent increase year on year. In January-June 2013, this indicator increase by 13.2 percent, reaching 600.5 million US dollars. The accumulated volume of Russian investments in Armenia’s economy has exceeded 3 billion US dollars, the share of Russian investments in the country is 40 percent. There are about 1.3 thousand enterprises with Russian capital in Armenia. In the total volume of private transfers to Armenia from abroad, remittances from Russia rank first, reaching 1.44 billion US dollars in 2012. As many as 1.2 thousand enterprises and separate divisions with Russian capital work in Armenia. Their share in the total number of enterprises with foreign capital has reached 27.6 percent.

On Monday, Secretary of the Armenian National Security Council Arthur Baghdasaryan left for Moscow. He will meet with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev to discuss bilateral cooperation matters. The sides intend to review the progress of the implementation of agreements reached this June as a result of Patrushev’s visit to Yerevan. Baghdasaryan’s talks with CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha will focus on the republic’s strategic interaction with the organisation, as well as issues of Armenia’s activities in the CSTO.

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