GYUMRI — Russian troops stationed in Armenia could openly side with it in case of a renewed Armenian-Azerbaijani war for Nagorno-Karabakh, according to their top commander, Colonel Andrey Ruzinsky.

“If Azerbaijan decides to restore jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh by force the [Russian] military base may join in the armed conflict in accordance with the Russian Federation’s obligations within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO),” Ruzinksy told the Russian Defense Ministry’s “Krasnaya Zvezda” newspaper in a recent interview.

Ruzinksy answered a question about the mission of the Russian base headquartered in Armenia’s second largest city of Gyumri.

That mission was upgraded by a Russian-Armenian defense agreement signed in 2010. The agreement extended Russia’s basing rights in Armenia until 2044. It also committed Moscow to supplying its South Caucasus ally with more weapons and military hardware.

The Russian base, which numbers between 4,000 and 5,000 soldiers, has since been bolstered with modern weaponry, reportedly including Iskander-M tactical ballistic missiles. The Russian military also plans to deploy combat helicopters there soon. The Russian air force unit in Armenia currently has 16 MiG-29 fighter jets.

The Russian troops in Armenia hold joint exercises and trainings with Armenian army units on a regular basis. Around a thousand soldiers from the two armies, backed up tanks, helicopters and artillery systems, practiced a joint military operation as recently as in August.

According to Ruzinsky, more such war games are planned for next year. “I believe that we need to further develop our field cooperation, if I may put it way,” he said.

The Russian base commander also revealed to “Krasnaya Zvezda” that a group of his senior officers and their Armenian colleagues recently jointly toured “areas of combat engagement.” “We plan to increase such activities next year,” he said without elaborating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the latest updates from MassisPost.

You May Also Like

“Van 1915: The Great Events of Vasbouragan” by Ara Sarafian

FRESNO — Ara Sarafian, director of the London-based Gomidas Institute, will present…

Pope Francis Appoints Boghos Levon Zekiyan as Apostolic Administrator of Armenian Archieparchy of Istanbul

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has appointed Archpriest Boghos Levon Zekiyan, emeritus…

City of Miami Beach Officially Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

MIAMI BEACH, FL – On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, the City of Miami Beach,…

Telethon 2011 A Gift of Water. A Gift of Life.

LOS ANGELES — Friday, September 30, 2011 marked the launch of Armenia…