By Ani Avetisyan
As Armenia seeks Western help in coping with the influx of refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh, its relations with Russia continue to deteriorate.
Last week Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told the Wall Street Journal that he saw “no advantage” in the presence of Russian troops in Armenia. In the same interview, Pashinyan also ruled out any impending withdrawal from the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
Despite his previous criticism of Moscow and the CSTO, Pashinyan has maintained a restrained approach when it comes to actual action against these two security allies.
Armenia currently hosts approximately 10,000 Russian troops, of whom around 5,000 are stationed at the 102nd Russian military base in the city of Gyumri, near Turkey. Other Russian forces operate at Zvartnots airport, Erebuni military base, and in the southern and eastern regions of Armenia.
Russian troops are stationed at various points along the border with Azerbaijan, and Russian border guards control Armenia’s borders with Turkey and Iran.