Russia Clarifies Position on ‘Foreign’ Military Presence in Armenia

Russian ambassador in Yerevan, Sergey Kopyrkin
Russian ambassador in Yerevan, Sergey Kopyrkin

Russian ambassador in Yerevan, Sergey Kopyrkin

YEREVAN (Azatutyun.am)—Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov referred to Armenian biological laboratories donated by the United States when he stressed the need to prevent “foreign” military presence in Armenia, a senior Russian diplomat said on Tuesday.

Lavrov told a Russian radio station on Monday that Moscow and Yerevan are close to signing an agreement that will bar third countries from deploying military personnel in Armenia. He spoke in the context of American bio labs provided to several ex-Soviet states in recent years.

Armenia has received five such facilities from the U.S. to boost food safety and other sanitary controls on its territory. Earlier this year, it allowed Russian officials to inspect them after Moscow claimed that Washington seems to be running a clandestine biological weapons lab in neighboring Georgia.

The Russian ambassador in Yerevan, Sergey Kopyrkin, said the Russian and Armenian sides are now engaged in a “constructive dialogue” on the work of the labs.

“I don’t exclude that at some point we will reach an overall mutual understanding and agreement,” he told a news conference. “I can’t tell yet what form that agreement could take but any [Russian] ban or diktat is out of question.”

“There is a dialogue and desire to achieve mutual understanding, including on the transparency of the biological laboratories and the presence or non-presence of foreign military personnel in those labs,” Kopyrkin added in reference to Lavrov’s remarks.

Commenting on the remarks, the Armenian Foreign Ministry likewise insisted that Lavrov spoke about the bio labs.

“The labs belong to Armenia and have a civilian character,” stressed the ministry spokeswoman, Anna Naghdalyan. “As far as Armenia is concerned, there is no question of military presence there.”

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5 Comments

  1. State of Emergency said:

    Why no confirmation of the signing from the Armenian side? What’s so secret about it and why hasn’t it been reported before? This must be the process in a Thugocracy. Russian hegemony will never allow Armenia to grow and expand. It will always remain under their thumb. Armenia is doomed to remain a protégé forever.

    • Raffi said:

      All countries are under hegemony, NO country is 100% free, if not Russia hegemony, it’s going to be US’ hegemony, besides you should remember US all he did last 50 years is to BS on the Armenian people., Better neighbour next door than a brother far away.

  2. Ari said:

    Does third countries deploying military personnel in Armenia include Russia? Hypocrisy at its best!

    • Jeff said:

      Russia have military bases in Armenia already. The agreement is to keep other foreign nations out. Kinda understandable, considering we have Russia almost surrounded by United States military.

  3. John said:

    War and political turmoils easily create chances for point or view and political influences to drift, so no, Armenia is not doomed to remain this or that, and in fact finds itself in a very strategic position, even if under control at the moment.

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