February 22, 2021 - 13:14 AMT
Armenia says interested in expansion of Russian base in country's east

Yerevan is interested in the expansion of Russia's 102nd military base in the northeastern Armenian city of Gyumri and redeployment of a certain military formation to the east of the country, Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan said, according to RIA Novosti.

Harutyunyan noted that the matter is being studied. In addition, he said, additional functions are assigned to the Russian border guards in Armenia.

"Indeed, the Russian border guards are assigned additional functions to ensure the security and protection of the border of the Republic of Armenia with Azerbaijan. I have no doubt that close and effective cooperation has been established between the border services of our countries, and that all the tasks assigned to Russian border guards in Armenia will be performed at the highest level," Harutyunyan said.

"Before the conflict in Karabakh, the troops of the Border Service of the Russian Federal Security Service in Armenia were ensuring the security and protection of the border of the Commonwealth of Independent States passing through the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Today the situation has changed significantly," the Defense Minister said.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Russian and Azerbaijani Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev on November 9 signed a statement to end the war in Karabakh after almost 45 days. Under the deal, the Armenian side has returned all the seven regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, having lost a part of Karabakh itself in hostilities. As a result, a number of Armenian villages and towns have become border settlements.