Georgia cuts Russian military transit to Armenia

Georgia’s parliament has annulled an agreement with Russia allowing Moscow to use its territory as a transit nation for a Russian military base in Armenia.

Tuesday’s unanimous vote means a five-year agreement struck in 2006 will not be automatically renewed.

Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said renewing the agreement wouldn’t be “politically expedient” due to the “Russian aggression” that led to a brief war in August 2008.

Russia claims it was defending its citizens when it invaded a breakaway Georgian province to decimate Georgian forces that were attempting to reclaim the territory. An international report laid blame on both sides.

The Russian base is located in Gyumri in northern Armenia. It has up to 5,000 troops, S-300 air defense missiles and a squadron of MiG-29 fighter jets. Armenia last week approved a lease extension until 2046.

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