MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russia and Armenia may switch to settlements in national currencies, President Vladimir Putin told reporters after talks with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan.
"With a view to further expansion and diversification of trade, the possibility of mutual settlements in national currencies is currently being discussed," the Russian leader said.
Putin noted that "Russia is Armenia's leading economic partner."
According to him, "by the end of last year, bilateral trade increased by 6%." The Russian leader considers such a result "a serious success that was achieved in conditions of unstable global environment."
The Russian president said that "Russian investments in the Armenian economy exceeded $3 billion, while about 2,000 enterprises with Russian capital operate in the country."
"Energy cooperation is developing intensively, Russia is the largest supplier of natural gas to Armenia, Russian gas accounts for 100% of Armenian gas consumption," the Russian leader said.
He recalled that "with the assistance of Gazprom, the fifth power unit of the Hrazdan Thermal Power Station was reconstructed; the capacity was brought up to 480 megawatts." Putin also stated that Russian nuclear energy agency Rosatom is upgrading the Armenian nuclear power plant, cooperation in the mining industry is making good progress, Russia’s Polymetal company is engaged in the development of gold deposits in Armenia, Rusal invested $120 million in a joint venture to produce aluminum products."
Putin added that Russia "helps the development of the transport infrastructure of Armenia - Russian Railways is implementing a large-scale program of technological renewal of the railway network, investments in this project amounted to $500 million.