Lavrov Explains Military Deal with Armenia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Russia has denied the widely held view that amendments planned in its defense agreement with Armenia involve changes in the functions of its military base stationed in the South Caucasus country.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, no change should be expected in the way the base functions after the document is signed on Friday.

In an interview given to Armenian Public Television before Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Armenia, Russia’s top diplomat said the protocol to the existing treaty with Armenia pursues the goal of getting “a perspective in time”.

The signing of the protocol is high on the agenda of Medvedev’s two-day state visit to Armenia, which also overlaps with an unofficial summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led military alliance of seven former Soviet states, to be hosted by Yerevan.

Corresponding amendments to a 1995 treaty regulating the presence of a Russian military base in Armenia will allow Russia to maintain a base in Armenia for another 24 years, until 2044, and advance its troops headquartered in Armenia’s second largest city of Gyumri closer to the border with Turkey. According to a relevant “protocol” submitted to Medvedev by the Russian government, besides “performing functions on defending the interests of the Russian Federation,” the Russian military base, “together with the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia ensures the security of Armenia.” The document also commits Russia to supplying its regional ally with “modern and compatible weaponry and special military hardware.”

The move is likely to cause concern in neighboring Azerbaijan, which has an unresolved conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

In the same interview, Lavrov in essence, stopped short of denying reports of Moscow selling S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Azerbaijan, Armenia’s military archrival in the region. Further, the Russian minister downplayed the impact that such actions would have on the situation in the region.

“Let’s not forget what S-300 anti-aircraft systems are. They are defensive weapons designed to protect a territory from external missiles. We never supply arms to regions where such supplies may destabilize the situation. Defensive weapons may cause problems with those who plan to use force. I believe that no state in the region plans to launch new military operations, because it would be catastrophic,” said Lavrov.

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5 Comments

  1. Avetis said:

    Mr. Lavrov has nothing to explain. We Armenians are simply grateful of Russia’s friendship. God bless Mother Russia, God bless our Hayrenik.

  2. Arn. said:

    GOOD –

    According to a relevant “protocol” submitted to Medvedev by the Russian government, besides “performing functions on defending the interests of the Russian Federation,” the Russian military base, “together with the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia ensures the security of Armenia.” The document also commits Russia to supplying its regional ally with “modern and compatible weaponry and special military hardware.”

    THEN SUPPORT ARMENIA WITH THOSE MISSILES AND DO IT VERY FAST –

    “Let’s not forget what S-300 anti-aircraft systems are. They are defensive weapons designed to protect a territory from external missiles. We never supply arms to regions where such supplies may destabilize the situation. Defensive weapons may cause problems with those who plan to use force.

    THEY WILL BE SUPERB DEFENSIVE MISSILES ALSO FOR THEM WHO ARE PLANING WAR IN THE REGION,
    DEFENSIVE AGAINST CONTRASTRIKES FROM THE ONE ONE IS ATTACKING.

    I believe that no state in the region plans to launch new military operations, because it would be catastrophic,” said Lavrov.

    BEVERE OF THE TURKISH AND NATO AIRFORCES IN TURKEY,
    WHEN THE WAR STARTS BETWEEN IRAN AND HER ALLIES,
    AGAINST THE US AND ISRAEL:.

    ARN.SWEDEN.

  3. manooshag said:

    Hye, Iran is a nation which has not been violently aggressive against other nations… Their leadership maybe a mite misdirected at this time – but look around, so many nations leaders are ‘misdirected’… USA, Israel, Azeris, Turkey, Sudanese and more… So, why pick on a nation that has been steadfast in their efforts for their own people, have not been aggressively IN YOUR FACE and interfering with the lives of nations, have not committed any Genocides against any nation, is not ‘eliminating’ citizens to secure their stolen lands for their ‘own kind’.
    In Iran, many ethnics live together in peace. World, look around and see who are the leaderships that are ‘attacking’ even their own citizens – to gain for ‘their own kind’ to claim the lands they have stolen via Genocides. For example, a Turkey pursues, still, lands stolen from the Armenians – via Genocides – for a Turkey nation ONLY for Turks. Yet Turks are now spread across Europe and the USA and Canada. Hence, instead of ‘attacking’ Iran, the world should be approaching the nation which has been committing Genocides from the 19th, the 20th and the 21st centuries – bullying, today using fighter planes and chemical warfare against Kurds seeking freedom from the tyranny of the years and years by Turks – and are aiming to ‘eliminate’ the Kurds as the Turks eliminated the ancient and advanced Armenians from their own lands of nearly 4,000 years Actually, Armenians own advances have been shared with the civilized nations of the world – even today, this fledgling nation of Armenian (of 20 years) aspires and does share with the civilized nations… And to this day, the aggressor Turk seeks, still, to demean their victims, the Armenians! Still! Too, it appears to me that Iran, too, seeks to advance it own peoples – BUT has not been actively aggressive with other nations, as Azeri leadershps, a nation which only came ‘to be’ recently, too lies, and claims lands of the ancient Armenians! Looking at a Turkey – all that Turks aspire to is eliminating peoples from their lands, committing Genocides over centuries – ongoing.
    Genocides are that which what Turks best excel,,., 1890s until today 2010… Today the Azeris, Sudanese, and the Turks offer destruction of ‘humanity’ to the world – yet SOME leaderships, misdirected, are ‘aiming’ for a peaceful Iran – a nation where all peoples of our world, live in peace – able to observe their own religions – have caused GREAT havoc to others over the centuries into today.
    Perhaps when the ‘good Muslims’ over take and replace these ‘misdirected’ Muslims –  can they?
    Manooshag

  4. manooshag said:

    Hye. last sentence correction: add NOT

    able to observe their own religions – have NOT caused GREAT havoc to others over the centuries into today.
    Thanks, Manooshag

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