Umbrella Russian outpost (The Mirror of the Week, Ukraine)

Umbrella for the Russian outpost ("The Mirror of the Week", Ukraine)While wandering through the world economic crisis, and the United States engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, our home in a hurry to strengthen its presence in the post-Soviet space. Directly behind the agreement on prolongation of stay of Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea, the Kremlin wants to recently sign a protocol on the extension of the stay of the 102nd Russian military base in Armenia. Yerevan, in turn, is also willing to continue this "marriage contract": information about upcoming configurations to the Russian-Armenian agreement on Russian military base on March 16, 1995 has confirmed the secretary of the local State Security Council Arthur Baghdasaryan.

According to the draft report, the contract will be made in two configurations. They relate to the length of stay and objectives Russian military base in the Armenian town of Gyumri. Now Article 25 provides for no 25-year and 45-year-old's contract with automatic renewal for successive five-year periods. (To avoid confusion, the Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman said that the extension will happen with the day or the signing of the contract, in other words, starting from 1995. But this is not the final text of the protocol. And all may be that the extension of the period will be counted from 2010.) In addition, Article 3 will change: in a number of tasks Russian base than "performance of the functions of protecting the interests of the Russian Federation" will now go and ensuring the security of Armenia. Including delivery to Yerevan through "modern and compatible weaponry, military (special) equipment."

For Russia it is more than a successful transaction. As military to the 102nd Russian military base includes three motorized infantry regiments (123rd in Yerevan, the 124 th and 128 th in Gyumri), 992 th Artillery Regiment, 988 th anti-aircraft missile regiment, the 116th Independent Tank Battalion, 772-th separate reconnaissance battalion. The structure of 426 th Aviation Group, located at the airport in Erebuni includes 18 MiG-29 fighters. According to Russian media reports, all in service is up to 100 tanks, about three hundred armored vehicles, artillery systems and anti-aircraft missiles of various types. The number of the base is about four to five thousand people. They are located on a military city of Gyumri and Yerevan. (By the way, particularly in Gyumri were relocated Russian military, who left the military base in Akhalkalaki and Batumi.) Russian mass media write about the fact that half of the officers and virtually all contract soldiers — the Armenians have received Russian citizenship.

Task of this group of Russian troops — a cover of the southern flank of the Russian Federation and the protection of Armenia as a member of the Contract on collective security. But even estimate the value of Russian military professionals base in Armenia — only a fragment of a strong strategic security system deployed during the Russian Union along the borders of Turkey and Iran. But only for Moscow base in Gyumri — is more than the fighters, planes, tanks or anti-aircraft missile systems S-300V.

At the time, Russian State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov saw: "Armenia — Russian Federation outpost in the South Caucasus." And losing this country amounts to care for the Kremlin from the region. A base in Gyumri — demonstration of Russian flag in the South Caucasus, the method to strengthen and consolidate its influence in the region, a means to keep in the sphere of Russian influence on Armenia long years. As pointed out in his article in the Wall Street Journal Heritage Foundation's leading expert on issues of, Eurasia and international energy security Ariel Cohen, "Russian-Armenian protocol makes Russia the dominant power in the South Caucasus, as the U.S. and NATO are not ready for long-term military presence in the region. "

But for the Russian military presence in Yerevan — one of the parts of the country's security: Armenian establishment feels the lack of security, believing that bordered on the latter measure with 2 aggressive states — Azerbaijan and Turkey. And although most of the Armenian political parties have not expressed their attitude to the changes in the contract in 1995, it is hard to imagine that any Armenian government in the coming years will put the question to the Kremlin on the withdrawal of Russian troops. On the contrary, the leading Armenian politicians are interested in strengthening this presence. And so for the 102nd Russian military base created MFN: rent for the base in Gyumri, no fee, Armenia provides it with the necessary utility services. A group of Russian FSB border with the Armenian border since 1992, the border guards of the Republic of Turkey and Iran. (In the countryside Armenia Now there are 58 frontier border of the FSB Russia.)

The problem of security is related to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh at first, because of which the country has been a year which is in a state of confrontation with Azerbaijan. Baku is not a protest in response to the extension of the term of Russian military base in Gyumri. But Armenia is alarming that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev constantly expresses his own willingness to return to the territorial integrity of the country. Including the power method. Escaped the attention of the Armenian Department can not pass and that a one-year budget of the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan is approximately equal to one year's budget of Armenia. Well with Turkey, despite some rapprochement with Yerevan remain difficult case. Difficult relations with Ankara and Baku, the geographical distribution of the Armenian intended that this country has been one and a half years, the 10-ka is in a semi-blockade.

In the situation of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation Yerevan focused on Moscow, the head of the military ally and major economic partner. In the end, our homeland — the largest investor in the Armenian economy. Moreover, in full or partial supplies Russian companies are virtually all strategic enterprises in Armenia. Including the fuel and energy sector: the company "ArmRusgasprom" Hrazdan TPP, the Sevan-Hrazdan HPP, distribution networks, the Armenian NPP. In 2008, JSC "Russian Railways" to run across a concession right to manage the Armenian railways.

This aspect of relations between Yerevan and Moscow are very well described one of the participants in the Internet forums: "Everything possible is simple: we are Russian" friends "on the basis of mutual benefit. We need their military support, because our homeland, we must admit, the world's favorite weapons. But in return they get an ally in the South Caucasus. Even more, their presence in Armenia and profitable to themselves, because this region at this time in the interests of the U.S. and Russia. "

Taking into account the permanent instability of the region in Armenia believe that our homeland has become the guarantor of its security in the event of the military phase of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Actions in Kyrgyzstan showed that lined the CSTO mechanisms do not work in crisis situations. Because in Yerevan prefer bilateral cooperation format. It is no accident the representatives of the Armenian Department special emphasis on the fact that the new agreement provides for: Our homeland together with the Armenian Army is committed to providing safety Armenia.

In general, not all Armeni
an experts and politicians believe that in the case of a new armed confrontation over Nagorno-Karabakh, Moscow will accept the decision of the military intervention in the conflict on the side of Yerevan, protecting it from its own strategic ally of Baku. "It's hard to say whether the enhanced safety our country in the end configurations in the contract. If all strategic trumps once you give your partner, then your value drops. And the emergence Fri about security Armenia in a new agreement on the presence of Russian bases does not mean that our homeland will make war with someone for the sake of Armenia ", — he saw in an interview with" ZN "Expert Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation Stepan Grigoryan. After all, the Armenian-Russian relations is constantly 3rd — Azerbaijan.

Unresolved political and economic difficulties forced to navigate Yerevan to Moscow. But the Armenian control provides for yourself aware of the fact that the Kremlin has its own interests in the region and they often do not coincide with the public interest Armenia. Because the Armenians are trying to expand their own contacts with NATO, which is the South Caucasian Government is working within the framework of the Plan of personal partnership: Yerevan is alarming development of relations between Moscow and Baku, particularly in the sphere of military-technical cooperation. For example, the fact that our homeland Azerbaijan intends to sell two divisions of anti-missile system C-300. (In general, the final decision, apparently, in Moscow, is still pending.) Although this is a SAM defense, not directly threaten Armenia or Nagorno-Karabakh, Yerevan feels loyal ally, as it believes that the C-300 is not just change military the balance in the conflict zone, and will allow Baku to be more brutal.

But the Kremlin's own relations with Yerevan and Baku is trying to prevent distortion and maintain the existing political-military balance in the region, supplying both sides of the gun. After all, our home has its base not only in Armenia, and Azerbaijan, renting the Gabala radar station, created to protect from impact of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and for the continuous monitoring of gallakticheskogo place. Moscow cooperates intensively with Baku in different areas of security (the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism, the supply of equipment, military training). With all of this at once closely Russians are reacting on the same issues and Yerevan. And on Russian base in Gyumri, according to official data, there are also two divisions of S-300.

Completely may be that the application configurations in the contract of Russian military base, the provision of Yerevan more robust security umbrella are specific compensation Armenia with Russian side in exchange for a possible sale of the defense systems S-300 to Azerbaijan, an attempt to dampen concerns of the Armenian establishment. And at the same time give a political signal to Baku, that he refrained from the use of force in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Experts believe that "given the case with Baku, Moscow will seek to delay the very side of the escalation, just keeping their distance in case of a military confrontation." But taking on the role of mediator, Moscow at the same time interested in the upcoming maintaining the status quo in the region. After all, a similar provision gives harsh leverage on the regional players and allows you to feel confident in for geopolitical games.

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