Russia’s Defense Minister Visits Armenia

Armenian and Russian defense ministers Seyran Ohanian and Sergey Shoygu in Yerevan

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu ended a two-day official visit to Armenia on Tuesday as the two countries moved closer to signing an agreement on joint manufacturing and maintenance of weapons.

Shoygu went straight into talks with President Serzh Sarkisian on his arrival in Yerevan late on Monday and met his Armenian counterpart Seyran Ohanian the following morning. He also inspected the newly restructured Russian military base headquartered in Gyumri.

Sarkisian’s office said that the two sides agreed on the need to “further reinforce allied and strategic relations” and “deepen military-technical cooperation” between Armenia and Russia. They discussed concrete steps in that direction, the office said in a statement.

Shoygu spoke of “dynamic” development of Russian-Armenian military ties after his separate talks with Ohanian. It was their third meeting since Shoygu was appointed defense minister in November.

“We discussed issues related to military-technical cooperation and further development of our strategic partnership,” Shoygu told reporters. “This February we will clarify a program for our cooperation for the next five years.”

The two ministers also spoke about regional security. “We made a number of additional decisions as a result of that discussion,” Shoygu said. He added that they are connected with separate Russian-Armenian security talks that began in Yerevan within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russian-led alliance of six former Soviet republics.

The talks were chaired by Nikolay Bordyuzha, the CSTO secretary general, and Artur Baghdasarian, the secretary of Armenia’s National Security Service. In Baghdasarian’s words, top executives of “a large number” of Russian defense companies also took part in the session.

“We agreed to deepen cooperation in the area of defense industry,” Baghdasarian told a joint news conference with Bordyuzha. “We mapped out concrete programs and concrete directions for the creation of joint ventures.”

Baghdasarian said that the two sides have all but finalized a new Russian-Armenian agreement paving the way for joint arms production and repair. Russian President Vladimir Putin formally authorized his government to sign the accord earlier this month. According to the Moscow daily “Nezavisimaya Gazeta,” it will be signed in early February.

Bordyuzha announced that Yerevan and Moscow are already preparing to open seven facilities in Armenia for maintenance and repair of military hardware. The Russian government daily “Rossiiskaya Gazeta” reported earlier on Tuesday that they will cater for tanks, armored personnel carriers, air-defense systems and even helicopter gunships.

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8 Comments

  1. Gary_S said:

    Together we can take the oil rigs in Azeribaijan–if there’s any oil left. LOL

  2. George said:

    If diaspora Armenians want to recover Western Armenia and US to recognize the Genocide, they should concentrate on cutting a deal with the West and the US, promissing if Turkish land is returned to stablish a prowest Armenia, otherwise they will never back the return of Armenian land to unify with current Russian sphere Armenia

    • HArutuyn said:

      Brother George i understand exactly what you mean, but lets look at the big picture, right now baku ceyhan oil pipe line is going thru our land and i’m talking about the Wilsonian Armenia, which turkey knowingly violated. second of all the baku ceyhan is owned by the Brits or BP, now we got 2 major powers we have to deal with. third what i think the deal will be is to take money from those oil revenues and pay for reparations for the Armenian Genocide. Fourth we got Turkey that we have to deal with also and you know how money hungry they are, so we have few obstacles that we have to work on to get what we want, specially the reparations, the blood money is important for us if we do get our lands back, because we would need to repapulate those areas with Armenians to start building, and i dont know if erdogan and aliev wanne sale their wifes to pay for it, but like i said look what we have to do to get what is ours, we all know what happen , but todays greedy people really dont wanne talk about it because lots of people got a alot to loose from it unfortunately, but i can say one thing in the near future the oil of baku will run out and i’m talking 5 to 8 years so then the major players will not care about baku or any thing else so we will have the advantage of reoccupying our lands throught some miracle but again the blood money thats whats gone be hard, because a turk rather give up their sisters or wifes then one penny.

    • AR said:

      You need a lesson in geopolitics 101. Armenia does not fit into the designs of the West. Armenia, however, does fit the geopolitics designs of Russia in the Caucasus.

      • George said:

        The West will NEVER support the return of Armenian land that can end up under Russia’s sphere of influance, like today’s Armenia.

    • Tsayt said:

      my friend, before dreaming of a land we don’t have, let’s keep the one we do have.

  3. Mabuballah said:

    Western policy is hopelessly prostituted to the West’s insatiable appetite for Middle Eastern (and Azerbaijani) oil, and nothing Armenia says or does is going to change that. Armenians should learn from the experience of the Serbs, whose backing of Western interests over the past century have been as self-sacrificing as they have been totally unproductive to this day. This is unmistakably clear from the consistent behavior of NATO, the U. S. State Department, and Israel over the past century, as well.
    Armenians, furthermore, are fools for squandering their precious too few troops in aiding and abetting the U. S. criminal occupation of Kosovo. Lesson: deal with the U. S. from a position of strength or not at all.

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