In an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov commented on the issue of biological laboratories set up in some post-Soviet states. Lavrov said Russia is working with these countries to ensure the transparency of these laboratories to ensure there are no risks for Russia.
According to Lavrov, the Georgian side provides access to laboratories to the Russian diplomatic delegation but now they are trying to achieve access for specialists to analyze risks for Russia.
Lavrov made a statement about Armenia as well, saying that they are preparing an Armenian-Russian agreement which will “rule out the presence of foreign servicemen there” and will provide grounds for confidence in transparency of laboratories. Lavrov said they are preparing something similar with Kazakhstan.
It is worth looking at two circumstances relating to Lavrov’s statement. The speech of the Russian foreign minister was covered in the Armenian media without a mentioning of biological laboratories which produces the impression in public that he speaks about an Armenian-Russian agreement ruling out the presence of servicemen of another country in Armenia. It is useless to describe how the public will react to such information when it is presented without the component of biological laboratories. Meanwhile, it is essential, especially if the agreement will most probably rule out the presence of Russian servicemen.
It is clear that the Armenian government must provide full information on this plan revealed by Lavrov. Then it is necessary to assess how the sovereignty and interest of Armenia is reflected in the new agreement.
As to excluding foreign military presence in Armenia the issue has been resolved in 2013, by an agreement signed within CSTO which was ratified by the Armenian parliament, including both the majority and the non-governmental pole. According to that agreement, stationing a third country’s defense infrastructure in CSTO member states without consensus among CSTO member states is ruled out.
The other circumstance relating to the new plan presented by Lavrov is that in his conversation with the KP the Russian foreign minister forgot about Azerbaijan when he spoke about the biological laboratories created with the American support. By the way, the special reporter for the Komsomolskaya Pravda, Daria Aslamova who asked the question, also forgot about Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, there are such laboratories in Azerbaijan too.
The Russian foreign minister did not speak about the plans to control transparency of these organizations in Azerbaijan. Why? Is Azerbaijan absent in those plans or has Baku turned down Moscow?
By the way, the question occurs what Armenia gets by not turning down.