Several discussion clubs aimed at “popularizing the ideas” of Russian premier and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin will be opened in early February in Armenia, The CIS Youth Union said on Thursday.
In a press release on its web site, the CIS Youth Union said Armenian youth “feels great affection for Vladimir Putin since he managed to outline the top priorities and put the Russian-Armenian relationship on the right footing.”
The Putin clubs will be opened in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, as well as Artashat and other cities. Its members will watch documentaries about Putin and discuss his ideas and programs, the Youth Union said.
Armenia has close political, military and historical ties to Russia dating to before the First World War.
The move comes the day after Russian news web site Gazeta.ru said the Penza state University in Central Russia would launch special classes presenting the positive changes in Russia under Putin’s rule.
Putin is currently the most likely candidate to win the 2012 presidential election, which he is contesting after a four-year interregnum as prime minister.
Pro-Putin youth groups have existed in Russia for many years since his accession to power in 2000. Critics have derided them as proof of a personality cult created around Putin, but his press spokesman and Putin himself have said there is no danger of such a cult reemerging in Russia.