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Georgian Deputy FM on Russia-Armenia Military Base Deal
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 22 Aug.'10 / 15:23

Commenting on Russian-Armenian military base deal, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze said on August 20, that Tbilisi had no reason to suspect that Armenia would endanger regional security.

Armenian and Russian Presidents signed in Yerevan on August 20 an agreement extending Moscow’s lease on Gyumri military base in Armenia to 2044.

"For us it is important, that Armenia fully acknowledged and is acknowledging threat coming from Russia in respect of Georgia, including in the regional context. It is important for us that this awareness exists. We have good relations with Armenia and we have no reason to suspect that Armenia will in any form put regional security in danger," Nino Kalandadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, told reporters on August 20.

Asked at a news conference after signing of the agreement, how Russia would act in case events similar to those in Georgia in August, 2008 occur in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia's President, Dmitry Medvedev, responded, that Moscow supports peace in South Caucasus, but in case of crisis it would act in accordance to its commitments undertaken as an ally within Moscow-led security bloc of seven former Soviet republics known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Azerbaijan and Georgia withdrew from CSTO, to which Armenia is a member, in 1999.

"As the largest state in the region it is Russia's function to secure peace," Medvedev said.

According to a report by Russian news agency, Interfax, by the end of this year the Russian military bases in Gyumri and in Georgia's two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia will become part of Russia's united strategic command "South", which will also include North Caucasus Military District, western part of the Volga-Ural Military District, Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla.

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