ArmInfo. The Defense College of the North Atlantic Alliance issued a report on the Russian military presence in the South Caucasus and the troops in Armenia.
According to the report, the model of Moscow's military positioning in the region consists of two components: the use of mechanisms of limited access, which include the creation of a strong and self- sufficient local air defense system capable of intercepting NATO aircraft, as well as tactical and operational missiles (such interceptors are available from Russia in Armenia in Gyumri, as well as at the air base in Erebuni) and deployment of attack complexes based on Iskander-M missiles, as well as strike aviation systems.
The experts of the college are convinced that Russia is using the principle of three "Confrontation, Cooperation, Confusion" with the aim of reintegrating the South Caucasus. They remind that there are three frozen conflicts in the region, namely, in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the settlement of which is not expected in the foreseeable future. "Russia applies these principles to Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan with respect to Baku and Yerevan, Russia specifically applies a balancing system, deliberately sending conflicting political messages, selling weapons and providing political cover on a number of complex issues of regional security. And in such complex maneuvering and consists of the strength and great potential of Moscow to maintain the status quo in the region, "the Alliance experts write, and in this context they emphasize that it is in this that the omission of NATO, which does not have such tools.
At the same time, the report emphasizes that the strategic importance of the Russian bastion in Armenia depends on the deployment of the Iskander-M missile systems there, which, being equipped with missiles of the Iskander-K type (the incorrect NATO designation of the Russian cruise missile R-500), may violate the requirements of the Treaty on the Elimination of Missiles of medium and short range.
Experts note that after Turkey shot down the Russian Su-24, Moscow increased the number of the 102nd military base in Armenia. "However, after Russian-Turkish relations normalized, to the point that Ankara can buy from Moscow the S-400 system, the presence of Russian troops and advanced weapon systems in Armenia was not abbreviated, which is not accidental, since Russia's geopolitical interests and Turkey diverge in many areas, beginning with Central Asia and ending with the South Caucasus, "NATO experts say, who also believe that the Karabakh conflict is one of those issues around which Ankara and Moscow may face confrontation. The report also notes that the April war in Nagorno-Karabakh has changed the geopolitical situation in the region, and Moscow's delivery of Iskanders to Yerevan is not accidental, but is aimed at preserving levers of influence in the region.
The report also notes that Russia's arms deals with Iran and Azerbaijan on supplying high-tech weapons, such as the S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft systems, not only place the Trans Caucasian states in dependence on the will of Moscow, but indirectly pressure on Turkey, with which negotiations are currently in progress to buy modern Russian air defense systems, which causes considerable concern and alarm in NATO.