Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by David Stepanyan
The situation in the area of responsibility of the 102nd military base remains unstable and is fraught with risks of escalating tension in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, Commander of the 102nd military base of the Southern Military District of Russia's Armed Forces, Colonel Andrey Ruzinsky said in an interview to Krasnaya Zvezda, the central press organ of Russia's Defense Ministry.
He said that if the Azeri authorities decide to restore their control over Nagorno-Karabakh by means of war, the base may join it according to the obligations undertaken by Russia in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. "According to a number of inter-governmental agreements, our base is supposed to perform strategic deterrence and air alert tasks and to support the Armenia- based troops of Russia's Federal Security Service," Ruzinsky said.
He said that his base is on constant alert. "We have 13 basic combat and 17 all-out support units. This is quite enough for a base to be able to successfully fulfill its tasks. Our special forces are two air defense missile battalions with S-300V and BUK-MS-2 systems, a missile artillery squadron with Smetch systems and an air base with MiG-29 battleplanes. We are also planning to deploy a mixed air regiment in the Erebuni air base near Yerevan. It will be a new multifunction force," Ruzinsky said.
The Russian military base in Armenia was formed on Sept 1 1994. Later it incorporated the 3,624th air base and the 988th air defense missile battalion. In 2011 they joined the Joint Air Defense System of the CIS, while the base became part of the Combined Forces of the Russian and Armenian armies.