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Putin to visit Armenia on April 24 to participate in genocide commemorative events

April 20, 2015, 10:22 UTC+3
The commemorative events will be dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide in the Osman Empire
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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Yerevan during a visit in 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Yerevan during a visit in 2013

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Klimentyev

MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to visit Yerevan at the invitation of his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan to participate in the commemorative events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide in the Osman Empire, the Kremlin press service said on Monday.

"As part of the visit, the meeting of the presidents of Russia and Armenia will be held that will discuss the issues of bilateral agenda, cooperation in integration associations and also topical regional and international issues," the statement says.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that Putin could visit the Armenian capital. Peskov did not rule out that the presidents of Russia and France could meet at the commemorative events in Yerevan.

"As far as we understand, Putin and [Francois] Hollande will be staying in Yerevan at the same time. Their contacts on the sidelines of the programme planned by the Armenian side therefore cannot be excluded," Peskov said on Friday.

The main program of the commemorative events in Armenia is scheduled on April 24. Before World War I, the Armenian population of the Osman Empire totaled around 2.5 million. In 1915, as a result of deportation and systematic killings, between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians died, according to various estimates.

The Turkish government acknowledges the fact of mass killings of Armenians, but opposes the use of the term genocide and says that the death toll on which the Armenian side insists is overestimated.

According to Ankara, the deaths of Armenians were not the result of a targeted policy of the government, but due to the civil war in the Osman Empire, in which Turks were also killed.

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