Armenian-Russian bilateral co-operation shouldn’t damage to regional security

Thu 19 August 2010 08:52 GMT | 13:52 Local Time

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Dmitry Medevedev

Russian President Dmitry Medevedev’s visit to Armenia, which is started on Thursday, is closely followed in the United States too.

The possible prolongation of the Russia-Armenia Gyumri base contract until 2044 during the visit is in the centre of American media and analysts’ attention.

The majority of the American experts said the particular contract is dangerous for the region as it may bring armament misbalance. The experts say the region has too many problems and reasons for conflicts already and they don’t need another one.

A former US Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1987-1991), Special assistant to the US president on national security affairs, Senior Director for European and Soviet Affairs on the National Security Council Staff from 1983 until 1986 Jack Matlock said that both Russia and its neighbors like Armenia and others “make too much over military bases”.

He believes bilateral co-operation is something which is more important, it shouldn’t damage to regional security: “Security in the area should be based on regional cooperation. There should be serious discussion of Medvedev’s idea of a new, all-European security arrangement”.

He proposes another way of co-operation: “In particular, the countries of the Black and Caspian Sea areas should think in terms of collective security not expansion of existing alliances. Why not try to do more through the OSCE?”

Pavel Podvig, a researcher at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, expert on military co-operation and security, says such a step from Russia’s side was predictable.

“As a general observation, I think it is understandable that Russia would like to have something tangible in countries like Armenia - it creates a certain reality on the ground. I don’t think these are threatening developments. At least they shouldn’t be considered as such” – he added.

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