Armenian opposition: country needs one more Russian military base
Armenian opposition ‘Bright Armenia’ party leader Edmon Marukyan says Armenia needs to start negotiations with Russia concerning the creation of a new military base in the south of the country.
Russia already has its 102nd military base in Gyumri, in the country’s north. Back in 2010, Russia and Armenia extended the term of the agreement on the deployment of the base until 2044.
The new base, according to the opposition, will help ensure the security of the Syunik region of Armenia and the region as a whole.
The issue of Syunik’s security became acute after the second Karabakh war. According to the trilateral truce signed 44 days after the outbreak of war in Karabakh, the Zangelan region was transferred to Azerbaijan. It borders on the Syunik region of Armenia, and now demarcation and delimitation is taking place in the area, along the administrative borders of the Soviet era.
As a result, the road between Goris and Kapan, Syunik region, crosses Azerbaijani territory in several places. Recently, incidents have arisen here due to the fact that the border passes through the middle of several state objects of Armenia and private homes.
The situation in the region is extremely tense, the people of Syunik believe that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has ‘voluntarily transferred the territory of Karabakh to Azerbaijan.’ On December 21, they even blocked the roads and did not allow the prime minister to enter the region.
Pashinyan had to fly over the closed road by helicopter to talk with those from Syunik who did not mind talking to him.
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What Marukyan suggested
Bright Armenia leader Marukyan said the most important issue at the moment is ensuring the security of the Syunik region, since the positions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are in the immediate vicinity of Armenian settlements.
The party deputies visited Syunik to check all information coming from the region on site. According to Edmond Marukyan, after the trip they were convinced that the Azerbaijani side “can encroach on the border settlements.”
Marukyan draws attention to the fact that the Azerbaijani authorities continue to increase spending on the military budget:
“Azerbaijan is preparing for new adventures. To counter these challenges, it is necessary to start negotiations on signing a new agreement with Russia and establishing a base in Syunik. And peacekeepers in Karabakh will be able to receive support much easier from Syunik than from Gyumri.”