Europe

Putin in Armenia focuses on energy, military ties

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin has focused on trade, energy and military ties during his trip to Armenia.

Putin said Monday that Russia would lift export duties on oil and gas supplied to Armenia to make them cheaper, a move apparently intended to lure the ex-Soviet Caucasus nation into joining a Moscow-dominated economic alliance.

Putin also visited a Russian military base in Armenia. Armenian President Serge Sarkisian said that his country will soon ratify a new agreement with Russia that would allow it to buy Russian military hardware at cheaper prices.

Putin's visit sparked a demonstration of about 1,000 opposition activists, who marched across the Armenian capital carrying placards such as "No to the Restoration of the USSR" and "Stop Russia!" Police have detained several opposition activists.

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