Russian Troops In Armenia Set For Greater Role

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Moscow and Yerevan are planning to sign a new military agreement that would assign Russia and its troops a greater role in ensuring Armenia’s security, official sources in both countries said on Friday.

The Interfax news agency reported that the two governments will soon amend a 1995 treaty regulating the presence of a Russian military base in Armenia. It said the Russian government has already submitted a relevant “protocol” to President Dmitry Medvedev, who is scheduled to visit Yerevan in mid-August.

It said one of the amendments proposed by the protocol makes clear that the Russian base will not only protect Russia’s interests but also contribute to Armenia’s national security.

Under another change cited by Interfax, Moscow will explicitly commit itself to providing its main South Caucasus ally with “modern and compatible weaponry and (special) military hardware.”

Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service, a senior official at the Armenian Defense Ministry essentially confirmed the information. The official noted, though, that the Russian troops headquartered in the northern Armenian city of Gyumri are already tasked with defending Armenia. The planned changes in the Russian-Armenian treaty would simply underline that mission in more explicit terms, he explained.

The treaty went into effect in 1997 and is valid for 25 years. Interfax said its amended version would prolong the Russian military presence in Armenia by another 24 years and provide for its further automatic extension in the future.

The Russian base, which numbers some 4,000 personnel, and the broader military alliance with Russia has been a key element of Armenia’s national security ever since the Soviet collapse. Armenian leaders have repeatedly stated that despite forging closer security links with the West in recent years, they will not seek NATO membership in the foreseeable future.

Just last week, Yerevan and Moscow announced plans to significantly boost cooperation between their defense industries within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russian-led military alliance of seven ex-Soviet states. Top Russian and Armenian security officials said after talks in Yerevan that they have reached agreements envisaging the establishment of defense joint ventures.

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19 Comments

  1. Avetis said:

    Hail Russian-Armenian partnership and hail Mother Russia – the last front against pan-Turkism, Islamic fundamentalism, NATO expansionism and American imperialism.

      • Avetis said:

        Correct, due to Russian imperialism Armenia exists…

        And pray their imperialism continues, for without it not even a million gung-ho yahoos like you would be able to save Armenia from becoming either a Turkish region or a Iranian region…

  2. Avetis said:

    Coming on the heals of Medvedev’s visit to Armenia and rising tensions between Yerevan and Baku, this is a clear warning to Turks and Azeris. I hope this news will also ease the minds of our self-destructive peasants…

  3. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    Two eternally important questions whether Russia Federation can be a United States of America for the Republic of Armenia and whether Armenia can be an Israel for the Russian Federation.

  4. aruke said:

    lol. Is that picture on top supposed to be funny?:))

    Avetis: so you dont like America?

    Let me say some words; this agreement between Armenia and Russia is totally irrelevant to Karabakh conflict, because according to the agreement Russia will help Armenia to protect its (Armenian) lands. Please note that, Russian Federation government has neither recognized Karabakh’s independence nor stated that Karabakh belongs to Armenian Republic. In any possible conflict they will protect post-soviet Armenian borders, so don’t count on them!

    • Zareh said:

      So long as Armenia proper does not recognize Karabakh no one should expect others to do it. As for the issue of Russia helping Armenia, one should not forget that Russia only helps itself, if ever Russia helps Armenia it will occur at Armenia’s expense and arguably at Armenia’s detriment as an independent entity. Russia, for those who follow history, has helped Armenia only when Armenia has bled almost to the brink of death and then Russia comes and scoops up what’s left. Never has Russia strengthened Armenia to a truly meaningful strategic level. The recent sale of S300 missiles to Azerbaijan is yet another proof of it. Do not be fooled by the often repeated notion that Armenia gets Russian arms at cut rate price. Armenian heavy industry has practically been handed freely to Russia.

      • Avetis said:

        Zareh,

        Sorry to bust your bubble but the fact of the mater is Armenian exists as a result of Russia. Without Czarist forces entering the region some two hundred years ago your family would still be living somewhere in Anatolia or Caucasus in fear of Turks and Kurds… Try to wrap your mind around this fact before you blurt out more garbage.

        Without Russia help today not even a millions diasporans like you would be able to save Armenia from Turks. Russia helps Armenia because it realizes Armenia is a front against Turks and Muslims. As long as Moscow is in the hands of ethnic Russians Armenia has nothing to worry about.

  5. Avetis said:

    aruke

    Perhaps one day you’ll grow up to realize that Russia is actually the reason why there is a Nagorno Karabakh today. Trust me, had it not been for the Russian factor, Baku/Ankara would have invaded Armenia/Artsakh a long-long time ago. Nevertheless, this is a very delicate diplomatic matter for Moscow: keep Armenia strong but don’t over-antagonize regional Turks. Besides, did you ever realize that it took Russia almost twenty years to reclaim its territories in Georgia? The status quo Russia is currently maintaining in the region is in Armenia’s favor.

  6. Avetis said:

    Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD

    Your rhetorical question makes no sense. Try asking your question this way: can Russia be for Armenia what America is for Israel?

    The answer, had you been paying attention for the past ten-fifteen years, is – yes, it actually is.

    I suggest you people look at the unique parameters of Armenia’s relationship to Russia more closely.

    • aruke said:

      Answer to that question is No.

      Let me tell you why. You cannot keep the balance being equally close to the world powers. You have to choose one empire and be only his mistress. Israil depends on Israil only. If Armenia likewise chooses to be closer to Russia, it has to distance itself from the US and Europe.

      The other factor that makes the comparison meaningless is that even though Israil depends on the US, the United States is mainly controlled by Jews. In your case, Armenia and Armenians have no control over Moscow. In fact, number of Turkic population of Russia douples, triples the number of Armenians living in that country. I highly doubt, but if Russia will have a true democracy one day (like the US), it would change the balances, because Russia would support Azerbaijan.

      • Avetis said:

        Despite what the kinds of you may think, Armenians are well represented in the halls of the Kremlin today: at the very least, much more so than Tatars, Muslims and Jews. Thus, Armenia does have some control over Moscow and its geopolitical calculations. Can Armenians can gain influence in Russia had it not been for a large number of self-destructive peasants amongst us that still suffer from Cold War paranoia…

  7. Ara said:

    The main reason that the United States became powerful is because the US refused to be in alliances offer by Britain and France during the 18th century gaining greater independence and standing as a power of its own. Despite the critical military support required from Russia, Armenia needs to slowly become greater independent and be able to protect it’s border’s on its own. It is not wise for Armenia to commit to the superpower Russia.

    • Avetis said:

      What??? Where do you people get your take on politics from? The main reason the US became powerful is slavery, genocide and exploitation of limitless resources throughout the 19th century and the first half of the twentieth century… America was an isolationist to some degree because it had all that it needed and more. When what it had was not enough anymore it became involved in affairs oversees. Without a nation like Russia backing it up, our tiny, resourceless, landlocked and blockaded nation in the Caucasus would be impotent to the extremest degree. Without Russian help not even a million nationalists like you would be able to stop Armenia from becoming a Turkish province. Nevertheless, no sane/serious person would compare a America to Armenia.

  8. Gary said:

    Armenia prevents pan-Turkism. If there wasn’t Armenia there, pan-Turkism could go from Turkey to the Stans. Hence, its in Russia’s and Iran’s interest to keep Armenia there. Turkey would love to link up with oil rich Azeribaijan. It wouldn’t need Georgia then.
    The only thing is, if Russia ever has civil unrest, Turkey will take advantage of this.

  9. ANIL D DESHMUKH said:

    soviet union is best world of the millitary and commitment’long live the soviet union long live the soviet revolution long live the soviet government of the united worlds’ great many people ,vande matram

  10. Haik said:

    Excuse me for my english, I’m from the Netherlands

    I don’t ignore the fact that russia has been helping Armenia to stand his ground for the last 2 centuries, allthough If it’s true what you’re saying(avetis) that turkey could overtake Armenian grounds, than Armenia wouldn’t exist right this moment, Turkey had had manny chances to fight against Armenia(without any world super power like Russia), and they did, but your assumption has never happened.
    The biggest reason for that is the, strategic mountainious surface that stretches over armenia, and gives Armenians the best surcumstances for a guarillia war.
    Turkey did conquor many grounds of Armenia, but they ”couldn’t” reach over the Ararat mountain, because even if they did the riscs where to big ambushes on the turkisch militairie(wich in the genocide existed of 70% turkisch convicts that got their freedom, commiting genocide).

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