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The fate of Russian base in Armenia2012-10-16 17:13
The matter of stationing of the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri has always been the subject of heated debate among the broader social and political circles. Both in Armenia and abroad the presence of Russian military element in the country was seriously considered in two planes. According to experts, the base can be both a security umbrella and a threat to the sovereignty of Armenia.
Based on the urgency of the problem and the ongoing discourse around it, GTimes reporter has learned opinions of representatives of different social sectors of Armenia on the stationing of the 102nd military base in Gyumri.
The problem of sovereignty is a security issue
"When the Russian military base was deployed in Armenia, the objective was to restore the economy (not to spend money on the military needs) and gradually become self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency of the country is directly proportional to its independence, however Armenia has gradually turned into a semi-independent country, dependent on Russia to a greater extent", a Yerevan resident, civic activist Sos Avetisyan, who opposes extending the term of stationing of the base in Gyumri, based on the principle of state sovereignty, said in an interview with GTimes.
According to Avetisyan, the main reason for the term extension - this is security. "Today, Armenia has only one front, which is the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). In this regard, the deployment of the base on the opposite side, especially if Armenia pays for it from its meager budget, is unclear. After all, Russia is paying significant money for Gabala (radar station in Azerbaijan - Ed.) and for its bases in Central Asia", the civic activist said.
In his view, the security issue should be considered not in terms of physical integrity, but in terms of state sovereignty. "If the sovereignty of the country is under threat, the security is a big problem. If the base protects us from Turkey which is a NATO member and cannot independently carry out a major expansion, then "fairy-tale" fear of the nationalists that Ankara could deprive Armenia of sovereignty, does not stand up to criticism, since in this case Armenian authorities transfer the sovereignty to Russia", he stressed.