The church will become a clerical cultural center.
What military base deputy commander Archimandrite Andrey called “the biggest Russian Orthodox church in Armenia,” built in the 1920s, will become a clerical cultural center and permanent part of the Russian military installation in Armenia’s northwestern Gyumri region. Russia obtained a 49-year extension of its presence at the base in 2010.
The transfer of the church is an indication of the close ties between Armenia, a former Soviet republic, and Russia. Each is part of the six-member Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a mutual security bloc modeled after NATO and led by Russia. Its other members are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
At a CSTO meeting Friday in Moscow, plans were discussed to establish a crisis response center to be used when member states encounter security threats. The information-sharing complex will be installed at an unidentified military base near Moscow.