Yerevan Ready to Offset Russian Sales to Azerbaijan

Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian (r.) inspects Armenian army positions on the border with Azerbaijan

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia is mindful about large-scale sales of Russian weapons to Azerbaijan and is trying to counter them with its own military buildup, Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said on Friday.

Ohanian commented on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s claims that the volume of Russian-Azerbaijani defense contracts signed in recent years has reached $4 billion. Aliyev made the statement after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin held in Baku earlier this week.

“Of course, we are somewhat concerned about the [Azerbaijani] military buildup,” Ohanian told reporters. “But the figures that are cited are a bit unreal … Nevertheless, we need to take into account that Azerbaijani reality. We are aware of all that.”

“Of course, that is not quite good for us. But we have planned measures against that and our commander-in-chief, the president of the republic, is seriously thinking about that,” he said without going into details.

Ohanian reacted similarly after it emerged in June that Russia has begun delivering $1 billion worth of tanks, rockets and other offensive weapons to Azerbaijan. He indicated that close military ties with Moscow will help Yerevan offset those deliveries. In that regard, the minister referred to a Russian-Armenian agreement on military-technical cooperation which he and Aleksandr Fomin, the head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, signed in Yerevan on June 25.

Incidentally, Fomin again visited Yerevan and met with Ohanian and President Serzh Sarkisian on Wednesday. The Armenian Defense Ministry said that the two sides fleshed out plans to set up joint “centers for the repair and maintenance of military hardware and weapons” in Armenia.

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10 Comments

  1. Hay said:

    Russia is simply playing its own game, supplying both sides of the conflict like an unethical arms dealer.

  2. Hrant K. said:

    Russia is not the only State delivering arms to the “vice azeri regime”, there many are other States and izms, that are behind the HINDRANCE of the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide carried out and planned by the Young Turks!!! Russia is an ally and not an enemy, period!!! There are many good azeri peaceful citizens, who are being time and
    again been bullied by “the Aliev Regime”! It’s time to kick out that madman out of his office and establish a real republic
    to Armenia’s East!!!

  3. Haydat said:

    It this a joke?? Russians selling offensive weapons to Azerbaijan to be used against Armenia, and Armenia is trying to offset this by “closely” cooperating with Russia??? Stexen asel es yrenk @nkel….

  4. GeorgeMardig said:

    Armenia as well IRAN should worry on this military build up, should Israel enter in war with IRAN, which side Azerbaijan will support and if these arms will not end up using against Iran, or transferred to Azeris in Iran to instigate revolt against the regime.

  5. HAIK said:

    Per Russian sales to Azerbaijan; let’s not lose sleep over it…It’s not volume of arsenal that makes the difference; it’s the quality of men behind the arsenal. Let Russia make billions of dollars on equipment which will be ours for the taking if conflict breaks out…Azeri’s have shown their bravery by throwing defenseless Armenians out from windows in Sumgait; creatures that immolate pregnant Armenian women alive in downtown Baku do not fare well on the battlefield; Armenia has suffered evil from your kind like no other people on earth; come on Azeri ax murderers of sleeping people, let’s give it a shot! Come on Azeri’s don’t be afraid give it a try, but as Clint Eastwood said…Well Punk! Do you feel Lucky Today? However, (NO MATTER HOW ANGRY AN ARMENIAN MAY GET HE WILL NEVER MURDER DEFENSLESSS WOMEN AND CHILDREN LIKE YOUR RACE HAS DONE FOR CENTURIES!)

  6. Arman said:

    We need to finally understand, that Russia will not hesitate to sell its loyal Armenian ally to anyone who offers the right price. They’ve done it before and they’ll do it again..

    • lobo said:

      Agreed. Those sobs do know however that are alternatives are limited. The US would be the best, but they are still busy using Turkey and, as we have seen Georgia, they are too far and uninterested in anything other than causing turmoil from afar.

  7. Ara said:

    It is really hard to say who is ally who ia enemy nowdays. But let’s say russia refuses to sell arms to azeries then azeris will buy it somwhere else for shure. But they buy it from russia because may be it is a better deal. All those arms may start firing one day-God forbid. Conclusion: No matter who sells arms to Azeris Armenia must constantly enhance defence system for sure.
    I think today’s biggest problems in Armenia , after Karabakh issue of course, are the large poulation exodus which is a result of moral aspects of youth, fake values and lack of love to God, to neigbours and own nation.

  8. Gazzo said:

    Armenia has no alternative other than making herself more valuable than she already is to Russia. The Russians dare not loose their foothold on Armenia. The defection of Armenia can come about by major shifts in the political configuration in the region. Armenia shifting sides will mean the winding down or even exit of Russian predominance in the region. However, Armenia has no future inside a Muslim dominated sea of nations . America will not and can not aid Armenia. Armenian and Russian political destinies in the Transcaucasia region are intertwined and inextricably linked. Russophobes and philo American-EU. pundits need to be given a rude awakening from their somnolence hallucinations .

  9. Avetis said:

    Our Russophobic fools need to remember that Israel, Ukraine and Turkey have been arming Baku to the tune of many billions of dollars for many years. Had it not been for Russian arms and Russian protection, Armenia would have lost Artsakh – or worst.

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