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Putin Calls For Stronger Ties With Armenia --> Armenian President Robert Kocharian (file photo) 25 March 2005 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a visit to Yerevan today, reaffirmed Moscow's desire for close ties.

Putin, who arrived late yesterday for a two-day visit, held talks with Armenian President Robert Kocharian.

The Russian leader said Moscow is interested in strengthening economic and political relations with Yerevan. Putin is due to participate in a gala ceremony marking the start of the "Year of Russia" in Armenia before leaving later today.

Armenia is one of Russia's closest allies in the Caucasus region.