YEREVAN -- Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian today praised his country's expanding commercial ties with Russia, particularly the growing rate of exports to Russian markets, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.
Sarkisian, who heads the Armenian-Russian intergovernmental committee for the Armenian side, made the remarks during a meeting with Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin, his Russian counterpart on the committee, which convened in the southern Russian city of Rostov-na-Donu today.
According to the Armenian government's press office, Sarkisian said in talks with Levitin that he is pleased to note that "since the previous meeting of the committee a tangible growth has been observed in the trade and economic cooperation between our two countries."
"Thus, trade between Armenia and Russia in 2010 grew by more than 10 percent to reach nearly $1 billion," he said. "And during the first four months of this year trade between our countries increased by 13 percent as compared to the same period last year."
Sarkisian added that "what deserves great attention is the increase in the rate of export of Armenian goods to the Russian market, which in 2010 grew by more than 40 percent -- this rate increased by 27 percent during the first four months of this year."
Levin said at a press conference with Sarkisian that 10 bilateral agreements and a memorandum were being prepared for signing. He also thanked Armenia for the establishment of the free economic zone.
"I think it will speed up the work of the enterprises that were handed over to the Russian side," he said.
Levitin also stressed that Russia supported the allocation of funding by the Eurasian Economic Community for the modernization of the struggling Armenian chemical giant Nairit.