YEREVAN (Azg)–Current head of the Russian Duma’s parliamentary group for relations with Armenia–Nikolay Ryzhkov was quoted by the British Broadcasting Corporation as saying–"We view Armenia as our strategic partner. This doesn’t mean that we are trying to apply pressure on Azerbaijan–or on the issue of oil. Russia does not have such a strategic goal."
He continued–"Our military base in Armenia is not very large. Our base is only 8 kilometers from the Armenian-Turkish border which–in turn–is very close to the displacement of the eighth and ninth divisions of NATO."
He stressed that no one remembers NATO’s bases in Turkey–whereas Russia’s small base in Armenia attracts lots of attention. "I can say that yes–indeed–Armenia is the #1 buffer for us," Ryzhkov declared and added that–"unfortunately–the base in Armenia is not as powerful as those stationed in Turkey."