Both Armenia and Russia benefit from economic integration. Robert Kocharyan—the second President, leader of the "Armenia" bloc which will run in Sunday’s snap parliamentary elections, and its candidate for prime minister—said this in an interview with Russian media.
"Armenia is a small country with a small area and population. The Russian market is huge for us; therefore, economic integration in any direction is simply beneficial. I believe it is beneficial for both us and Russia. Of course, this cooperation is hampered by the lack of infrastructure. But here, too, joint projects can be made. By the way, the road passing through Upper Lars is a permanent transport problem. And here, it is probably possible to have a joint highway project which will become a very serious factor in the development of existing traffic flows. By the way, I believe this would be beneficial for the Iranian side as well, even to China. This is, so to speak, a narrow 'bubble' which today really hinders the strengthening of our relations in the economy," said the former president.
And when asked about the chances of opening a second Russian military base in Armenia, Kocharyan said: "Whether it will be the second or the expanded first [military unit in Gyumri], I believe, is not so important here. It is important that Russia's presence [in Armenia] be emphasized militarily. And, by the way, the Russian base is quite strong in this respect; but this presence needs to be increased," noted the second president.