YEREVAN — The Government of the Republic of Armenia approved the RA law on ratification of the agreement on “United group of the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia and the armed forces of the Russian Federation”.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and his Armenian counterpart Vigen Sargsian signed the agreement in Moscow last November. The agreement clarifies and upgrades the mission of the joint force comprising troops from the Russian military base in Armenia and the Armenian army’s Fifth Corps. In particular, it stipulates that the commander of the Russian-Armenian contingent will be appointed by the Armenian army’s commander-in-chief.

Also, the commander will be subordinate to the chief of the Armenian army staff in times of peace. He may report to the head of Russia’s Southern Military District in case of a war or imminent military aggression against Armenia or Russia.

“The main task of the United Group of Troops is to identify preparation of military aggression against Armenia and Russia in a timely manner and to repel it jointly with the armed forces of Armenia and Russia,” Defense Minister Sargsian said in November.

The deal was ratified by Russia’s lower and upper houses of parliament on July 14 and July 19 respectively. Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s government formally recommended its ratification by the Armenian parliament, which now seems a forgone conclusion.

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