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9 May, 2024 16:38

Russia to withdraw troops from ex-Soviet state – Kremlin 

Yerevan had requested a military deployment in 2020 amid tensions with neighboring Azerbaijan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said
Russia to withdraw troops from ex-Soviet state – Kremlin 

Russia has agreed to withdraw its troops and border guards from regions in Armenia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has revealed. The decision will not affect Russian military garrisons along the former Soviet republic’s border with Türkiye and Iran, he added.    

Relations between Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan have been strained since the collapse of the USSR, when the predominantly Armenian population inhabiting Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region proclaimed independence from Baku. A series of bloody conflicts have since been fought between the two countries over the territory. The last military confrontation saw Azerbaijan retake the restive region.   

On Thursday, Interfax quoted Peskov as explaining that “in the autumn of 2020, at Armenia’s request, our military personnel and border guards were deployed to several Armenian regions.” He confirmed that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had “said that today, due to the different circumstances, there is no longer such a need [for the deployment], so President [Vladimir] Putin agreed, and the withdrawal of our military [and] border guards was agreed.”   

The topic was brought up during a meeting between the two leaders in Moscow, where senior representatives of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states gathered on Wednesday.  

According to Peskov, “at Armenia’s request, our border guards will remain on the Armenian-Turkish and Armenian-Iranian borders.”  

That same day, the head of Armenia’s ruling party, Aik Kondzhoryan, confirmed that Yerevan and Moscow had reached an agreement. 

Last month, Prime Minister Pashinyan floated the possibility of military personnel withdrawing from the area. He argued at the time that Russian troops had been stationed there “as a result of a concrete situation” – the 2020 war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. He explained that, as Yerevan and Baku had started work on border delimitation, the security outlook in the region was different.  

Around the same time, Peskov stated that Moscow was pulling its peacekeepers out of Nagorno-Karabakh. However, Russia still has a military base in Armenia.