Base Reinforcement: Russia beefs up its military presence in Armenia

The Russian Defense Ministry has announced that more military hardware has been deployed to reinforce its air base in Armenia.

In a December 21 statement the Ministry said that a total of six attack and transport helicopters had been sent to the base near the Armenian capital.

It said the Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters had been transferred from a military base in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar to the Erebuni military airport near Yerevan.

Earlier in December Russia already deployed seven helicopters to Armenia, which is its key regional ally and hosts a Russian military base in Gyumri.

The current reinforcement of Russian military presence in the South Caucasus republic comes amid lingering tensions between Russia and Turkey, which shares a border with Armenia.

Political analyst Sergey Minasyan, however, says that the move does not necessarily reflect the latest geopolitical patterns as Russia planned to increase its helicopter fleet in Armenia long ago.

“Russia planned to send 18 helicopters to Armenia still in 2013. I understand that many would try to account it for the Russian-Turkish conflict, but it is not so. It is pure coincidence,” Minasyan told A1 Plus on Monday.