Russian Defense Minister to Begin Armenian Visit

MOSCOW (Itar Tass)–Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev was scheduled to begin a two-day visit in Armenia Tuesday. The Russian Defense Ministry’s international military cooperation department chief Leonid Ivashov told Itar-Tass that the Russian military delegation–at talks in Yerevan–will discuss "questions of jurisdiction of the presence of Russian troops in Armenia."It is also planned to review in detail the situation with the military hardware and armament of troops of the Russian military base deployed in the territory of this Transcaucasus state," Ivashov said.

He said Sergeyev’s talks with Armenian military and political leaders would address prospects of Russia-Armenia cooperation. The situation in the Trancaucasus region will be discussed. Ivashov described it "as dismaying and dangerous" and promoting cooperative efforts of the region’s states. Ivashov was critical of plans of "amplification of NATO’s presence in the southern region because the strengthening of the southern flank can explode the situation in the Trancaucasus."

He said Sergeyev’s visit to Georgia–put off earlier–is planned "closer to the fall."

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