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What Are Soldiers Of Russian Base Doing In Armenia Except Partying?

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  • What Are Soldiers Of Russian Base Doing In Armenia Except Partying?


    "Restaurants and eateries in Gyumri are packed in the evenings, the
    Russian soldiers party there. Have they come to Gyumri to party and
    have fun?" the political analyst Gagik Hambaryan said in an interview

    The newspaper asked Hambaryan what the 102nd military base of Gyumri
    is doing while Armenia, being a CSTO member, does not feel support
    by its Russian partner. Tension at the Armenian-Azerbaijani line of
    contact continues, innocent soldiers die while in the evenings the
    restaurants are full of Russian soldiers.

    In answer to this the political analyst said: "I don't want to sound
    anti-Russian because that would not be true but at the same time I
    cannot avoid saying this. Let's leave CSTO aside because CSTO is a
    military political organization set up by Russia whose members are
    distinguished for their anti-Armenian foreign policy, so does Belarus,
    Central Asian Muslim states. We should never assume that they will
    stand by the Republic of Armenia but we have a separate agreement with
    the Russian Federation according to which Russia commits to defend
    the borders of Armenia with Azerbaijan and Georgia. And it is very
    strange that the 102nd military base located in Gyumri, Armenia,
    does not respond to such tough incidents that occur in Tavush, at
    the Armenian-Azerbaijani border."

    Hambaryan says the Russian government allows only the officers to
    spend their salary in Gyumri, ordinary conscripts are not allowed to do
    that. Moreover, according to the political analyst, they do not receive
    a salary during their two-year service. "I saw at Shirak Airport how
    the private soldiers leaving Armenia after their two-year service, were
    distributed bank cards with their salary for two years, and the Russian
    officers were following them attentively to make sure that they would
    not go up to any ATMs. Although, I think, there are no ATMs there,
    when one of the soldiers went up to me and asked which ATM he could
    use, the Russian officer immediately told him to get back to the row."

    "Officers are allowed to spend their earnings in Gyumri because they
    sign a contract and may stay in Armenia longer whereas conscripts
    who are on mandatory service for two years and receive more than
    Armenian soldiers are not allowed to spend their salaries," Gagik
    Hambaryan says.

    He notes that 50% of expenses of the Russian base in Gyumri are
    covered by the population of Armenia, including the utilities, but
    the Russians do not contribute to our economy in any way, even food
    and uniforms are brought from Russia. Meanwhile, according to Gagik
    Hambaryan, Russia signs lease agreements with and pays money to the
    other countries where it has military bases, including in Kyrgyzstan.

    17:00 03/02/2014 Story from News: