Russia to deploy 7,000 soldiers at Armenian-Turkish border

By bne IntelliNews December 21, 2015

Russia has agreed to deploy 7,000 soldiers on the Armenian-Turkish border at the Armenian government's request, according to World Bulletin. According to local media, Russia would deploy 58 army corps armed with tanks and missiles on the Armenian side of the border.

Armenia is Russia's main economic and political partner in the Caucasus, and is heavily reliant on Russia for economy and defence against neighbour Azerbaijan, with which Armenia has been in a state of frozen conflict for over 20 years. Armenia's border with Turkey has been closed for two decades as well, as Turkey has supported Azerbaijan in the conflict over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia has rejoiced over Russia' spat with Turkey that began on November 24 when Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 jetfighter, and Armenian government officials have mulled higher trade with the northern neighbour in agricultural products after Russia imposed sanctions on Turkey.

If Armenia becomes embroiled in the Turkish-Russian spat, it could destabilise the tiny Caucasian country and turn it into a possible target for neighbour Azerbaijan which is keen on recovering its lands that are under Armenian occupation. 

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