Russian President Vladimir Putin sees a 'positive trend' in Russian-Armenian relations. Putin made this statement on Friday, January 17, when opening Russian-Armenian talks with Armenian President Robert Kocharian. Putin said that over the last year the trade turnover between the two countries had increased by 10%.
During the talks, Putin and Kocharian signed a joint statement on future bilateral cooperation between the two states. The two sides also signed an agreement between the Russian and Armenian governments on military technological cooperation, a protocol on supplying goods through manufacturing cooperation in 2003, a Russian-Armenian joint declaration on cooperation in the cultural sphere, and an agreement between the two countries' central banks on cooperation to monitor the activity of credit organisations.
During the meeting, Robert Kocharian also proposed holding a Year of Russia in Armenia and a Year of Armenia in Russia. Vladimir Putin expressed the hope that 'such an event would not be drowned in the mass of other similar events.' He also thanked the Armenian President 'for the conditions which the Armenian leadership is establishing for Russian military personnel who are being withdrawn from Georgia and stationed in part in Armenia.