Armenia has an interest in having Russian military base on its territory since it is an important part of the country's national security system, said the Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, in an interview with the editor-in-chief of the radio station Echo of Moscow, Alexei Venediktov.
"We have military cooperation agreements, and under these agreements, the military base has specific obligations. This does not mean that we have no problems with the activities of the military base. However, the existence of the 102nd Russian military base in Armenia corresponds with the national interests of the Republic of Armenia, “said the head of the Armenian government.
Pashinyan underlined that it was not about his personal views and not about the representation of "this or that government."
"Russian border guards protect the border between Turkey and Armenia. This is very important for Armenia because our armed forces have actually been freed from this obligation. It would be a heavy burden for us to take on the responsibility to protect this long border,” noted the Prime Minister.
He also assured that he does not intend to "throw out" the Russian military from Armenia, and promised that the status quo in regards to the Russian base would remain unchanged.
In July, soldiers of the 102nd Russian military base conducted military exercises in the administrative territory of Panik village, where their test shooting frightened the locals. Later, Governor Karen Sarukhanyan of Armenia's Shirak Province said that the Russian military had apologized for the incident. Pashinyan called the incident a provocation directed against friendly relations between Russia and Armenia.