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Russia, Montenegro Pledge Stronger Ties --> Djukanovic (left) and Putin in sochi on August 28 (epa) August 28, 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic today pledged their readiness to actively develop political and economic ties.

The two met today for talks in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

Trade between Russia and Montenegro is relatively low. But Putin noted that Russian investment in the Balkan country is estimated at $2 billion.

The Sochi talks marked Djukanovic's first visit to Russia since Montenegro declared independence from Serbia following a May referendum.

Russia was the first country to recognize Montenegro's independence and establish diplomatic relations with Podgorica. Putin said he was pleased to see Djukanovic as "prime minister of an independent state."