YEREVAN, 22 Feb – RIA Novosti. The Armenian side is interested in expanding and building up the potential of the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri, Armenian Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
“The issue of expanding and strengthening the Russian military base on the territory of the Republic of Armenia has always been on the agenda, and the Armenian side has always been interested in this for the simple reason that the base in full force is part of the Joint Grouping of Troops (Forces) of the Armed Forces of Armenia and Russia. and, therefore, the expansion of the capabilities of the base automatically entails an increase in the potential of the joint group operating on a bilateral basis in the Caucasian region of collective security, “the minister said.
According to him, “of course, the leadership of the Russian Defense Ministry took into account the existing military and political realities in the region and made the right steps towards strengthening and re-equipping the base.” “And I am sure that this process will be long-term,” said Harutyunyan.
At the end of September last year, hostilities resumed in Nagorno-Karabakh, which became a continuation of the long-term conflict and led to casualties among the civilian population. The parties made several attempts to conclude a truce, but the tripartite agreement reached on the night of November 10 turned out to be successful. With the mediation of Moscow, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to completely cease fire and exchange prisoners and bodies of the dead. Yerevan also handed over the Kelbajar, Lachin and Aghdam regions to Baku. In addition, Russian peacekeepers are stationed in the region.
On January 11, after talks between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia, Ilham Aliyev, Nikol Pashinyan and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president announced the creation of a working group headed by the vice-premiers of the three countries. The working group must submit plans for the development of Karabakh by March 1.
In Gyumri, Shirak region of Armenia, in accordance with an interstate agreement of 1995, a Russian military base is deployed. In 2010, amendments were made to the document, according to which the period of her stay was extended from the initial 25 years to 49 years, until 2044.
RIA Novosti also requested an interview from the head of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry and is now awaiting final agreement on this issue.