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YEREVAN, June 26. /TASS/. Armenian authorities will hand over to Russia an important Russian Orthodox cathedral and land adjoining it in the north-western Gyumri region, where a Russian military base is located. This will be home to a new clerical cultural center, Armenia’s Defence Ministry said on Friday.
"The cathedral is the biggest Russian Orthodox church in Armenia," military base deputy commander Archimandrite Andrey said. "It was built in the style of military churches and was profaned in the 1920s during the Soviet period." The building was reconstructed and blessed by Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, in 2010, when the base’s presence at the location was extended for another 49 years.
To finish the handover process, an intergovernmental Russian-Armenian treaty must be changed. Russian military presence in Armenia is an important component of national security, state officials said.