MOSCOW (Itar-Tass)–The Russian State Duma ratified the agreement on Russian military bases in Armenia Friday. The agreemen’s had been signed by Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Boris Yeltsin.
370 members of parliament voted affirmatively–five abstained–while seven voted against the ratification of the plans.
Representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry told the Duma Thursday that the purpose of the agreement was to ensure Russia’s geostrategic interests in the southern and Transcaucasian regions. The agreement transforms the Russian military forces in Armenia into a Russian military base–which shall carry out its duties without interfering with Armenia’s internal affairs. The agreement will remain in force for 25 years and is subject to automatic extension for the next five-year period.
To settle possible disputes–arising from the stay of Russian troops in Armenia and from the application of the agreement–a mixed commission will be formed to which each side will appoint its representatives.
According to this document–the Armenian side shall not prevent any flights of aircraft over its territory–carried out in the interests of the Russian military base.
In turn–the Russian military will ensure ecological safety on the territory of Armenia as it pertains to this military base. In case of natural calamities or any threat to the security of the two sides–Armenia’shall allow units of the Russian armed forces to cross its borders after receiving a special application from the General Staff. In conformity with the agreement–such decisions will be adopted jointly and with the consent of both sides.