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Yerevan Considers Russian Base 'Very Important Component' of Armenia's Security

© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev / Go to the photo bank102nd Russian military base in Armenia
102nd Russian military base in Armenia - Sputnik International
Armenian Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan told Sputnik that Russia's base in Gyumri is "a very important component" of Yerevan's security strategy.

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.

Mi-24 helicopter gunships of Berkuty (Golden Eagles) Russian aerobatic team perform during the Flying Legend. - Sputnik International
Russia Reinforces Base in Armenia With Attack, Transport Helicopters
He also characterized the Gyumri base as the significant element within the military and political spheres of the Armenian-Russian cooperation as well as an important factor of deterrence.

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.

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