RUSSIAN MINISTER, ARMENIAN LEADERS DISCUSS COOPERATION PROSPECTS

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YEREVAN, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Regional Development Minister Vladimir Yakovlev discussed with Armenian leaders prospects for bilateral trade and economic cooperation, as well as reforms in city planning, housing and communal spheres.

Vladimir Yakovlev met with Armenian President Robert Kocharyan on Friday, Kocharyan's press service told RIA Novosti.

They discussed regional and local self-government reforms in Armenia and Russia. Kocharyan and Yakovlev also spoke about city planning, housing and communal reforms.

The sides believe that the key city development problems on the post-Soviet space can be can be jointly resolved by mutually beneficial means.

Vladimir Yakovlev also met with Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan.

They discussed prospects for bilateral trade and economic cooperation, the Armenian government's staff told RIA Novosti.

The sides pointed out achievements in trade and economic and interregional relations and the need of their further development.

According to Markaryan, the visits to Armenia by the governors of the Sverdlovsk and Perm regions (Urals) in early 2005 have promoted economic and trade contacts with these regions. Armenia is also developing contacts with Moscow.

The sides believe that mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation between the two countries has a substantial potential, particularly, in the spheres of business contacts, increase of bilateral investments and establishment of joint ventures.

Speaking about promotion of bilateral economic relations, the sides pointed to the need of arranging transport communications.

Moreover, at issue was cooperation in the spheres of tourism, education, science and culture. The sides believe that the Armenian community in Russia can play a significant role in these fields.

The Russian regional development minister arrived in Armenia to attend the 21st session of the intergovernmental council for construction cooperation of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

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