Extended Russian-Armenian base deal no threat to balance of forces in
region - Lavrov

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti)


A protocol extending Russia's use of a military base in Armenia is no
threat to the balance of forces in the region, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

He said that the functions of the Russian military base in Gyumri,
Armenia's second largest city, remain unchanged, as well as the number
of servicemen or weapons that Russia deployed there.

"The protocol... extends the agreement about the Russian military base
on the Armenian territory for another 49 years. Nothing else... That's
why there is no question of any influence that this protocol may have
on the balance of forces in the region," the minister added.

He reiterated that the deal does not violate any international agreements.

A week ago Russia and Armenia signed amendments to a 1995 bilateral
treaty extending Russia's use of a military base near Armenia's border
with Turkey through 2044.

Russia's 102nd Military Base has been deployed in Gyumri since 1995
and is part of a CIS integrated air defense system. It is under the
command of Russia's North Caucasus Military District.

There are around 5,000 personnel at the base, as well as S-300
surface-to-air missile systems and MiG-29 fighters.




From: A. Papazian