Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug.21 / Trend, T.Hajiyev /
Azerbaijani opposition parties condemned extension of the Russian-Armenian agreement on lease of the military base in Gyumri.
"Azerbaijan waged a complex struggle for independence. And now we must be vigilant to preserve independence. The Russian-Armenian military agreement is the greatest threat to Azerbaijan's sovereignty," Musavat Party head Isa Gambar said in his speech at the event dedicated to the former President Abulfaz Elchibey's 10th anniversary of death .
Russia and Armenia signed a protocol amending the bilateral agreement on the Russian military base in Gyumri dated 1995, concerning the extension of the document term Aug.20, RIA Novosti reported. The document was undersigned by the Armenian and Russian Defense Ministers. The validity of the 1995 contract was 25 years and the document will now operate 49 years (since 1995). The military base follows combat duty in the framework of the CIS United Air Defense SystemThe base is under the management of the Russian Troops in Transcaucasia, North-Caucasian military district of Russia.
The base is equipped with anti-aircraft missile system S-300 and MiG-29. The force strength of the base is about 5,000 people.
Chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan also holds the similar opinion.
"Today, our enemies got a great friend as Russia. In fact, this friendship was also before. But by this agreement they officially supported it," the PFPA chairman Ali Kerimli said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.