June 7 2005

Analyst comments on Russian arms' transfer to Armenia

YEREVAN. June 7 (Interfax) - The partial transfer to Armenia of
weapons from Russian military bases in Georgia that Moscow has
pledged to withdraw will "somewhat stabilize the balance of power
between Armenia and Azerbaijan," a senior Armenian political
scientist said on Tuesday.

"Undoubtedly, the existence of Russian military bases on Georgian
territory is politically more in the interest of Georgia than in that
of Russia as this enables Tbilisi, which often misunderstands
pro-Western orientation as anti-Russian, to play on this factor,"
Alexander Iskandarian, director of the Caucasus Institute of Mass
Media, told Interfax.

The withdrawal of the bases should contribute to "certain
improvement" in Georgian-Russian relations, though "there's still
enough reasons for disputes between Russia and Georgia," he said.