Russian Border Guards Expand Presence In Armenia

Russia has announced that its border guard service has set up five new posts along Armenia’s borders with Azerbaijan and Iran due to the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“All necessary measures have been taken and agreed with border services of Armenia, and we have come into contact with Azerbaijani border guards,” Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday during a video conference on the situation in the Karabakh conflict zone.

“We have established necessary relations, are exchanging information, and the border guards are serving in a regime of [Armenian] state border protection,” he said.

According to Bortnikov, two of the Russian outposts have been established on Armenia’s border Iran while the three others are located along the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontier. One of them is close to the so-called Lachin corridor that will serve as the sole overland link between Armenia and Karabakh as a result of a Russian-brokered truce agreement that stopped the war on November 10.

Under that agreement, around 2,000 Russian army soldiers will be deployed in the corridor and the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” in and around Karabakh. Putin discussed the deal’s implementation with Bortnikov as well as Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Minister of Emergency Situations Yevgeny Zinichev.

Russian border guards, which are part of the FSB, have until now been deployed only along Armenia’s borders with Iran and Turkey.

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