The Armenian parliament yesterday voted overwhelmingly to ratify the treaty on Russian military basing rights in Armenia, which Russia’s Duma had ratified on April 18. (See Monitor, April 21) Signed by Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Levon Ter-Petrosian, the treaty runs for a 25-year term, with automatic five-year extensions unless denounced by either side with one year’s advance notice. The preamble defines the treaty’s goals as protecting both countries’ security interests as well as the "CIS borders" along Armenia’s borders. Armenia is to cover 30 percent of the Russian forces’ expenses for using public utilities.
Almost no details were disclosed about the treaty’s military clauses, and most participants in the parliamentary debate were said to evidence a lack of familiarity with the document. The head of the Duma’s group for relations with Armenia, ex-USSR prime minister Nikolay Ryzhkov, said the treaty would enable Russia to offset Turkish forces and NATO bases in Turkey, and referred to Armenia as "indeed a buffer for us." (Noyan-Tapan, Azg, RIA, April 29)
Attempt on Tajik President’s Life Reflects Regional Tensions.