NOVO-OGARYOVO, October 22. /TASS/. Russia sees Armenia and Azerbaijan as its equal partners, it has always had special ties with both countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday during a session of the Valdai Discussion Club.
"Russia has always had special ties with Armenia. But we have always had special ties with Azerbaijan, as well. There are over 2 mln Armenians living in Russia and about 2 mln Azerbaijani people. These are not just people who come in temporarily for work, these are people that live here on a practically permanent basis. They send billions of dollars to support their families, working in Russia. All these people have stable and close ties with Russia on a humanitarian level - interpersonal, business, humanitarian, family ties. So Armenia and Azerbaijan are equal partners to us," Putin said.