Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 161

On August 29, Presidents Boris Yeltsin of Russia and Levon Ter-Petrosian of Armenia signed in Moscow a Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance. The treaty envisages consultations and mutual military support if either side is attacked or considers itself threatened by a third party. The signatories will also "jointly protect" Armenia’s borders with non-CIS countries in peacetime, in accordance with the two countries’ own security interests and with "CIS collective security interests." Russia and Armenia further pledge not to join any alliance deemed hostile to either of them. The treaty will be valid for a 25-year period and can be extended automatically for 10-year terms. Officials on both sides predicted easy ratification by the two parliaments.

Ter-Petrosian commented that the treaty is the first of its type signed by Russia with a CIS country, and that it raises Russian-Armenian relations to a higher level than the Russia-Belarus Union. Ter-Petrosian stated that the treaty should not be viewed as an instrument for resolving the Karabakh conflict. Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov expressed the hope that close Russian-Armenian relations should not affect Moscow’s relations with Azerbaijan.

An accompanying political declaration records a Russian-Armenian consensus on political, military, and economic issues on both the regional and the international levels, and it envisages "close interaction" of the two countries’ foreign policy. The sides state their intention to comply with the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty and to coordinate their actions in European institutions. Moscow promises to support Armenia’s candidacy for full membership of the Council of Europe.

The two presidents and their defense ministers jointly inaugurated a Moscow exhibition dedicated to the late USSR Marshal Ivan Bagramian, whom they described as a symbol of Armenian-Russian military partnership. Armenia’s foreign, defense, and internal affairs and national security ministers accompanied Ter-Petrosian to Moscow. (Russian, Armenian, and Western agencies, August 29-September 1)

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