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Armenia guarded by two armies2010-11-13 18:18
Armenia is almost permanently facing the menace of war. However, the subtle state policy made possible to achieve incredible results: both Russia and NATO take part in the country's protection. Russian military base located in the town of Gumri became part of Southern Military District, having settled against the dull background of Armenian landscape until 2044. However, cooperation with NATO remains a priority for Armenian defense in the long-term outlook.
Russian base in Gumri has become part of Southern Military District as a result of the RF administrative division reform. Only four military districts have been established instead of the initially planned six ones. Southern District includes all the Russian military bases in the Caucasus located beyond the country frontiers. Besides Gumri, these are bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The military base in Armenia performs the same functions as the similar strategic objects in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The theory and practice of the Gumri base operation was taken by the newly-recognized states as a basis.
Yerevan achieved great success in creating a defense system at someone else's expense. However, Armenians did not forget about their own armed forces. Now they've got everything: Russian troops guarding the entire perimeter of the Armenian border, NATO, which is necessary to cool Baku down and, of course, their own mission capable army.
Cooperation with Russia in the field of defense is sure a priority for Yerevan. According to the latest social research, 90% of Armenian citizens support the agreement on the Russian military base presence in the territory of the country until 2044.
Sure, for the base in Gumri has been set up not for mere intimidation: it also performs the function of guarding the border with Turkey and now the whole perimeter of the country. It means that Russian troops are to take over the watch along the border with Azerbaijan in the nearest future. So far, no one can imagine the way it will look like, for there is no clearly marked border with Azerbaijan on the map. Having won the Karabakh war, Armenians shifted the border no less than one hundred kilometers eastward.
Wherever the Russian troops are dislocated, Armenians will get another defensive echelon in case of an unexpected intrusion or anything worse, such intrusion being always possible in a powder keg like Armenia because of the Karabakh conflict.
These days, Baku and Yerevan have exchanged harsh statements. On Sunday, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev again stated that Baku is capable of solving the Karabakh problem by force at any time and the next day, Minister of Defense of Armenia Seiran Oganyan retorted: "Armenian army will force Azerbaijan to peace if need be". Experts believe the defense potential of both Caucasian enemy countries to be quite comparable. Azerbaijani possess certain advantage in terms of quantity, while Armenians are better at maintaining and reforming their troops. For instance, Azerbaijani armed forces number 67 thousand people, while air forces comprise 37 planes, 23 of them being MiG-25 planes. In Armenian army, there are 39 thousand people and air forces comprise 20 Mig-25 and SU-25 planes.
Russian troops provide considerable technical support to Yerevan in forcing the obstinate to peace, while Azerbaijan, which has spent the whole revenue gained from oil sale on weapon, will find itself in a position of "one man no man" in case of a war.
Negotiations with Turkey on setting up a military base in Nakhichevan have come to a deadlock. Nakhichevan is an autonomy cut from Azerbaijan by Armenian territories.