Vladislav Shurygin: Russia to safely withdraw its troops from Armenia
The radical Armenian opposition's calls to withdraw from the CSTO and expel the 102nd Russian military base from Armenia should not bother Moscow, since it will affect only Yerevan, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper 'Journalistic Truth' Vladislav Shurigin told Vestnik Kavkaza, commenting on the anti-Russian threats sounded in post-Sargsyan Armenia.
"This base represent no real military value for Russia. It is cut off from the territory of Russia by the territory of Georgia. In fact, the 102nd base in Gyumri is a hostage of its location now. I recall that it was created only thanks to the efforts of former defense minister Pavel Grachev, who had very close relations with the Armenian leadership and business. In fact, its sole purpose has always been the stabilization of the situation in Armenia against the backdrop of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he pointed out.
In this regard, Russia can rather safely leave this outpost in the South Caucasus. "If the new Armenian leadership is 'smart enough' to demand the withdrawal of troops, Moscow can do rather safely. Instead of it it will be better to open a new base in Vietnam, Cuba or another one in Syria. But Armenia should understand that then it will be alone with Azerbaijan in their war. I am 300% sure that no American or British special forces will come to save Yerevan in the case of worsening of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Moreover, in my opinion, it will be the best option for Azerbaijan - the demand for Armenia to withdraw the 102nd base from Gyumri and the actual withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory," Vladislav Shurigin warned.
The editor-in-chief of the newspaper 'Journalistic Truth' recalled that Russia plays a stabilizing role in the South Caucasus. "Within the framework of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, Russia is fulfilling its strategic obligations as a peacekeeper to both countries. The presence of Russian troops in the region contains active hostilities and stabilizes the situation in Armenia. Obviously, if the Russians leave, there will be no restraining factor. In addition, Russia has very strong positions in Transcaucasia outside of military relations as well - dense work with Azerbaijan, as well as millions of Azerbaijanis and Armenians living in Russia," he added.