Establishment of Russia’s 2nd Military Base in Armenia will Complicate Critical Situation in Region: Azerbaijani Defense Ministry
Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend I.Alizade / Representative of the Press Service of Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, Ilgar Verdiyev, said on 25 September that the establishment of Russia's 2nd military base in Armenia will lead to complications of the critical situation in the region.
Representatives from Russia's Defense Ministry are on a visit to Armenia. During their visit to the Armenian capital, they will meet with senior officials from the Government and the Defense Ministry of the country. According to certain information, the talks will focus on the establishment of Russia's 2nd military base in Armenia.
Russia's 102nd military base is currently located in Gurmi in Armenia.
Military expert, retired colonel-lieutenant Uzeyir Jafarov considers that the establishment of Russia's 2nd military base in Armenia will not be very simple. According to him, currently such a step by the Russian side does not seem realistic. "It will cause protest among countries of the region. In addition, establishment of the military base will be an expensive project. Moreover, opening a military base envisages implementing a number of political procedures," he said.
According to Jafarov, Russia considers its key task is to expand and strengthen the military base in Gurmi. The military expert considers the establishment of Russia's 2nd military base in Armenia as dangerous to Azerbaijan. "Official Baku should sharply criticize this issue," he said. According to him, the Azerbaijani side should not consider it as an internal affair of any country. "Firstly the interest and security of the region should be ensured. The actions of the Russian side may cause tension in the region taking into consideration the non-settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It is possible to forecast sufficient seriousness of this tension," Jafarov said.
The military expert highlighted Azerbaijan's possibilities to stand against it. Official Baku should raise this issue at an international level with a requirement of the grounds for the need of Russia to establish a 2nd military base in Armenia. "The Azerbaijani side should raise a serious question with OSCE. Because, Russia, as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, has undertaken several obligations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, but takes steps in complicating the situation in the region. Official Moscow should explain this," Jafarov said.
The Chairman of the Karabakh Liberation Organization, Akif Nagi, said that through its actions, Russia expands its military opportunities in the South Caucasus and demonstrates its force to countries of the region. "The Azerbaijani side should seriously protest to Russia, who is a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group," he said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries started in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of Azerbaijani lands including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under Armenian occupation. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement at which time active hostilities ended. The co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are holding peaceful negotiations.