RUSSIAN EXPERT: WITHDRAWAL OF RUSSIAN BASES FROM GEORGIA TO DAMAGE RUSSIA'S IMAGE IN ARMENIA

Pan Armenian News
01.06.2005 03:47

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ "The withdrawal of the Russian military bases
from Georgia will have a number of negative consequences for
our country. First, the Russian troops in Akhalkalaki played
considerable role for Russia, since the local Armenian population
enjoyed their support what strengthened Russia's prestige in
Armenia's opinion. Second, it will be much more difficult for us to
defend the people in the South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moreover, the
question on withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping troops from these
republics may arouse. Third, the deployment of US troops in Georgia
is possible and this will become a new shock for Russia." This is the
opinion of head of the Center of Military Analysis, Professor of the
Academy of Military Sciences Anatoly Tsiganok, IA Regnum reports. He
considers that with signing the agreement on settlement of the terms of
withdrawal of its troops from Georgia the Russian government first of
all showed that it is incapable to press for its goals. In his opinion
it is incorrect to refer to the Istanbul agreements of 1999, as at
that time Iran and China did not possess intermediate and high-range
ballistic missiles, Tsiganok notes. "Presently negative developments
over Iran cannot be ruled out and this fact should have been taken
into consideration in the negotiation process", he added. The expert
supposes that Armenia may change its accents in the foreign policy
and head for the EU rather than Russia. With the withdrawal of the
Russian bases from Akhalkalaki the railway communication between
Armenia and Russia will be hampered. "The only corridor between
Armenia and Russia does not satisfy all Armenia's needs. Thus, the
republic is likely to make for NATO or EU", Anatoly Tsiganok noted.