Interfax, Russia
Dec 2 2013

GYUMRI Armenia. Dec 2

President Vladimir Putin has called for developing cooperation between
Russian and Armenian regions.

Interregional cooperation is becoming "a major factor in the
strengthening of [bilateral] trade and economic relations," the Russian
leader told the audience at the Third Russian-Armenian Forum in Gyumri.

"It already involves all the regions of Armenia and about 70 regions
of Russia," Putin said. "It is important to continue the enlargement
of the potential of the mutually advantageous partnership, to
involve small and medium businesses in interregional cooperation,
to broaden youth and tourism exchanges and to establish contacts
between communities, civil and public organizations," the Russian
president said.

Russia is a leading trade partner and the main investor in Armenia.

The bilateral trade turnover grew more than 20% and topped $1.2 billion
in 2012, Putin said. Accumulated investment from Russia exceeded $3
billion, which was more than 40% of the entire foreign investment
in Armenia.

The joint infrastructural and energy projects are being implemented,
the Russian leader said. He mentioned the commercial operation of the
fifth unit of the Razdan thermal power plant, the enlargement of the
facilities of the Sevan-Razdan hydropower cascade, the extended period
of operation of the Armenian nuclear power plant and the modernization
of Armenian railroads.

Putin greeted the forum delegates and said "the traditions of
confidence and friendship continued to shape up bilateral relations as
a partnership and an alliance." "The city of Gyumri [former Leninakan]
which survived a devastating earthquake 25 year ago became a symbol
of mutual support and close relations bonding Russia and Armenia,"
the president said.

Te mk

From: A. Papazian