YEREVAN, January 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov is to pay an official visit to Armenia January 25-26, a spokesman for the Armenian defense minister said Monday.
Ivanov is to meet with President Robert Kocharyan, Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan, and National Security Council Secretary and Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisyan.
The visit will highlight bilateral technological and political cooperation in the military sphere, Colonel Seiran Shakhsuvaryan said.
Ivanov, who is also a deputy prime minister, is expected to visit Russia’s 102nd military base in Armenia, as well as a museum and memorial dedicated to the genocide of ethnic Armenians in Turkey under the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1918.
The Russian base is part of a joint air defense system of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the loose association of states that replaced the Soviet Union, which was deployed in Armenia in 1995.
In December 2005, Russia and Armenia signed a set of bilateral documents on expanding the base. Under the agreements, Armenia will transfer plots of land and real estate to the base.
The base is subordinate to the Russian group of forces in South Caucasus, is equipped with S-300 air defense systems and MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, and has personnel numbering 5,000.