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YEREVAN, June 15. /TASS /. A service member of the Russian military base in Armenia has been found dead in Gyumri (northwestern Armenia) where the bulk of the unit is deployed. The soldier’s body was found near the Mother Armenia memorial, close to the military base, with stab wounds and traces of violence, Prosecutor of the Shirak region Raffi Aslanyan said.
According to Aslanyan, there are no gunshot wounds on his body. Currently, police investigators are examining the scene of an accident, forensic experts have begun their work.
"There are no versions of the murder," he said.
This is not the fist tragedy associated with the military base in Gyumri. Russian service member Valery Permyakov who is suspected of murdering a local family in January is expected to face trial soon. Six people were shot dead in the house, while the seventh victim, a six-month-old baby, died in hospital after been fataly injured.
The Russian military base has been deployed in Armenia as part of the inter-state agreement between Moscow and Yerevan signed in 1995. Currently it is answerable to Russia’s Southern Military District. In accordance with the amendment to the bilateral agreement made in 2010 the unit’s deployment was extended from original 25 years to 49 years.
The Armenian authorities say the Russian military presence is an important factor contributing to the country’s national security. "Close integration with Russia is a major component of our security, economic development and stability," Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan said on March 18.