AKHALKALAKI (PanARMENIAN.Net)–Akhalkalaki mayor Nairi Iritsian told the "Black Sea Press" agency that presence of the Russian military base in the Akhalkalaki region (located in southern Georgia with a majority ethnic Armenian population) guarantees the population security from possible Turkish aggression. He clarified that the Armenian population does not object to the military aid rendered to Georgia by the US. "If Americans want to establish a new military base in Akhalkalaki–we agree to that–but America is far away and Turkey is near."
He also stressed that due to the Russian military base–Akhalkalaki’s population is much better off than those in neighboring regions. "A sizable part of the local population works at the military base; notable funds enter the city budget as a result," he noted.