YEREVAN — Armenia has given Russia until August 1 to withdraw its border guards from Yerevan’s Zvartnots international airport, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Tuesday.

Russian border guards have for decades been stationed at Zvartnots as well as along Armenia’s borders with Turkey and Iran as part of close Russian-Armenian military ties. A senior official announced on March 6 the Armenian government’s decision to remove them from the airport. It came amid a continuing deterioration of Yerevan’s relations with Moscow.

Pashinyan said that the demand was formally communicated to the commanders of the Russian border guards in Armenia.

“They were informed that … the Armenian border guard service at Zvartnots has gained enough experience and skills to carry out border controls at the airport without the help of the Russian side,” he told a news conference.

“The deadline there is set for August 1, 2024. From August 1, we will perform the service on our own,” he said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the Armenian side notified the Russians about its decision in a letter. He said that relevant Russian and Armenian are now engaged in “contacts” on the matter.

“I can’t say more now,” Peskov told reporters. “Naturally, contacts at all possible levels will continue.”

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