Staunton, February 23 – Armenian Defense Minister Vagarshak Arutyunyan has told Russia’s Novosti news agency that Yerevan would welcome an expansion of the Russian military base at Gyumri in Armenia because that would increase Armenia’s security (ria.ru/20210222/baza-1598535542.html).
The base exists on the basis of a 1995 Moscow-Yerevan agreement, one that was extended in 2010 allowing Russian forces to remain there until 2044. At present, officials say, there are some 4,000 Russian military personnel on the base which is located in Armenia’s second largest city in the northwestern portion of the country.
In the past, many Armenians have opposed the continued existence of the Russian base at Gyumri, let alone its enlargement because of the extraterritorial status Russian soldiers have claimed and received whenever they have been charged with crimes against Armenians, including a series of murders.
Thirteen months ago, awindowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/01/russian-army-get-out-of-armenia-gyumri.html).