Russia’s president has began a two day visit to Armenia against a backdrop of turbulent times in the Caucasus region.
On the surface, there are closer economic ties between Moscow and Yerevan, the Armenian capital.
The first stop for Dmitry Medvedev was to lay a wreath at a monument for what Armenia describes as victims of a 1915 genocide under Ottoman Turkey. He later took part in the opening of the newly-named Russia Square in the centre of Yerevan.
His inaugural speech focussed on what Medvedev described as respect for today’s democratic Russia and its people.
But it is the continuing conflicts in the region, such as that over Nagorno Karabakh which is still an issue. Surrounded by neighbouring Azerbaijan, it is claimed by Armenia and has been occupied by its forces since 1992.
Diplomatic support for Armenia from Moscow in the dispute has been crucial but recently Armenia took an ambiguous stance over Russia’s conflict with Georgia. Tough talking is expected during Medvedev’s two day visit.