Armenia Locked Into Gyumri Russian Base Deal Until 2044
Armenia's Defense Highlights Obligations of Russian Base Pact
Armenia will be unable to unilaterally abandon the 102nd Russian military base situated in Gyumri until 2044, as per the 1995 agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia regarding the Russian military base on Armenian territory. The State Duma of the Russian Federation has confirmed this development, according to a report from Azernews, an English-language regional news outlet produced in Azerbaijan, that posted late last week.
Article 27 of the relevant document stipulates that if either party expresses its intent to terminate the agreement, matters concerning the dissolution of the Russian military base will be addressed by a joint commission. The liquidation process will be completed within the agreed timeframe determined by both parties, Alpha News Armenia reported on October 27.
Protocol No. 5, signed in 2010 by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, extended the base's stay on Armenian territory until 2044.
Yuri Shvytkin, deputy chairman of the State Duma Defence Committee, verified this information to Russian media. Shvytkin emphasized that after the treaty's expiration, it automatically extends for an additional five-year period unless either party notifies the other party in writing at least six months before the expiry of the next term about its intention to terminate the agreement.
"The provisions of this agreement may be revised at the initiative of one of the parties and by mutual agreement," Shvytkin stated to Izvestia.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan recently mentioned that Yerevan did not have plans to leave the Russian military base. Pashinyan acknowledged the strategic importance of the base for Armenia's national security.
The 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri has been operating since the early 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It serves as a pivotal security outpost for Russia in the region and plays a crucial role in maintaining stability and safeguarding Armenia's interests.
The confirmation that Armenia cannot unilaterally abandon the Russian military base until 2044 underscores the significance of the long-standing agreement between the two countries. This development ensures continued Russian presence in the region and reinforces the strategic alliance between Russia and Armenia.
As Armenia navigates its geopolitical challenges and seeks to maintain a balance between various regional powers, the rift between Yerevan and Moscow has made a notable impact, leading to much analysis and debate, as Russians begin to be "supsicious" of the Armenian Prime Minister, and his motives toward Russia, analysts with The Armenian Weekly wrote. Conversely, Pashinyan has been critical of Russia, in his view, failing to protect Armenian interests in the Nagorno-Karabakh region that runs along Armenia's border with Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile, The Armenian Weekly analyzed, Russia continues to assess its role in the South Caucasus region which it sees as its important bridge to the Middle East.