YEREVAN (Sputnik) — The 102nd Russian military base in the Armenian city of Gyumri is as vital component of national security, Armenian Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan told Sputnik Wednesday.
"We consider its [military base’s] presence as a very important component of our country’s security system," Sargsyan said.
Sargsyan pointed out that after extension of the agreement on its location, the base became responsible not only for the security "within the perimeter of the former USSR external border," but also for the security of Armenia as a whole.
The official added, that the increase of the base’s staff numbers is not relevant at the present moment.
"Increase in the number of staff can never be a goal in and of itself, it should respond to the specific challenges of a specific situation," Sargsyan said.
The Russian 102nd Military Base is located in the Armenian city of Gyumri, and is part of the Joint CIS Air Defense System. On August 20, 2010, Russia and Armenia prolonged the agreement on the base location until 2044. The treaty also stipulates the expansion of the base’s geographical and strategic responsibility.