Russia to Supply More Arms to Baku Than Previously Revealed

A Russian T-90 tank on parade in Moscow


MOSCOW (RFE/RL)—Russia is to deliver 12 more heavy flamethrowers to Azerbaijan as part of multimillion-dollar arms deals with Baku that have caused outrage in Armenia, its main regional ally.

The Azerbaijani news agency APA revealed on Monday that the Azerbaijani army will receive soon 6 TOS-1A systems manufactured by Uralvagonzavod, a state-run Russian defense company. It said a third and final batch of these weapons designed to support advancing tanks and infantry will be supplied later on.

According to APA, Azerbaijan already took delivery of six such multiple-launch systems last year and put them on display during a June 2013 military parade in Baku.

A TOS-1A system can fire up to 24 incendiary or thermobaric rockets in a single salvo. With a 6-kilometer range, the rockets are designed to destroy enemy personnel, armored vehicles and transport.

News of the supplies of the flamethrowers came just days after a senior Russian defense official said that Azerbaijan is entitled to buying 100 more modern tanks from Russia. The Russians have already sold a similar number of T-90 tanks to Azerbaijan in line with $1 billion defense contracts signed in 2011. They were disclosed in May last year, sparking angry reactions from Armenian politicians, pundits and media commentators.

Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian on Monday commented cautiously on the tank deliveries, saying that Russia has a sovereign right to export weapons. “I can’t be happy with that but I have no right to stop it,” Ohanian told reporters. He insisted that the Russian arms sales will not change the military balance in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Analysts in Yerevan were less sanguine about possible consequences of Russian-Azerbaijani military cooperation. “If that is not compensated with more arms supplies to Armenia it could disrupt the balance,” warned Sergey Minasian, the deputy director of the Caucasus Institute. He said Moscow has until now cemented the Karabakh status quo with large-scale military assistance to Yerevan.

Another analyst, Ruben Mehrabian, said Russia is not only demonstrating that it is not a true Armenian ally but also deliberately preventing a peaceful settlement by arming both parties to the conflict. “It’s time to question Russia’s role as a mediator,” he said.

Russian Tank Manufacturer ‘Clarifies’ Shipments to Azerbaijan
A Russian defense company reportedly clarified on Tuesday that it has not yet completed the delivery of 100 battle tanks to Azerbaijan stemming from a Russian-Azerbaijani contract signed in 2012, RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) reported.

The Azerbaijani news agency APA cited unnamed representatives of the state-owned Uralvagonzavod enterprise as saying that shipments of the advanced T-90 tanks began last year and are continuing “according to schedule.” They said the next batch of this military hardware will reach Azerbaijan in August.

“We are not talking about an additional order,” one of them said. “Right now we are carrying out the outstanding order.”

Konstantin Biryulin, the deputy head of a Russian government agency overseeing arms deals with foreign states, told the Itar-Tass news agency on Friday that the Russian side completed the tank order last month. He said the 2011 contract entitles Baku to buying 100 more T-90s.

According to the Uralvagonzavod source quoted by APA, the two sides are currently negotiating on the possibility of more tank sales. “At the moment Azerbaijan is Uralvagonzavod’s biggest client,” added the source.

Citing an unnamed Russian official dealing with arms exports, the Moscow daily “Kommersant” on Monday confirmed Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s August 2013 claims that the total volume of Russian-Azerbaijani defense contracts signed since 2010 is worth around $4 billion. The official said that the figure could rise to $5 billion by the end of this year.

The Russian weapons supplied to Azerbaijan include not only tanks but also sophisticated air-defense and artillery systems and attack helicopters.

Authors

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

25 Comments

  1. Armenian said:

    Well, it seems like our strategy of giving the Russians everything is working. Some Armenians are so ungrateful to mother Russia that they scoff at the thought of making some more concessions for stability. I think it’s time to give up more. I propose a nice gesture: something along the lines of making Russian language education mandatory in all schools. I also think that renaming all of Yerevan’s metro stations to that of important figures in Russian history and culture would prove that Armenia is a loyal partner and friend of Moscow’s.

    Luckily, I don’t need to worry about anything running amok because, you see, the Armenians and Russians have a very historic Orthodox Brotherhood that has enduring through millennia. This means that we can be at ease and completely let our guards down because a God-fearing man like Vladimir Putin is clearly going to take into account this sacred Orthodox Brotherhood and help tilt the Karabagh conflict in our favor. Luckily with Russia, we don’t have to worry about the Kremlin hindering the social, political and economic development of our people by constantly making this never ending conflict last even longer, and constantly acting directly against our interests. I highly advise normal Armenian people not to think or ask any questions, as doing so would be in line with treasonous anti-Armenian, pro-Western, and Zionist forces.

    And if the Russians approach us after taking so much from us and giving virtually nothing in return, asking to cede all of Armenia into their country, I think we should say yes. Any good Armenian nationalist and patriot would do so.

  2. seto zoravar said:

    I hope Russian lovers in Armenia are ready to fight the biggest war ever , they trusted Russia with their eyes closed and sold our homeland , what a shame , now is the time for assassination to take place .

  3. Hratch said:

    Once Russia woos Azerbaijan into its orbit, kiss the Armenian military alliance and Armenia itself goodbye. Plus once they start granting citizenship to former subjects of the Soviet empire, that will be the final death knell of our culture and civilization. What the Turks started is being finished off by Mother Russia.

  4. Armenian said:

    In all seriousness, though, we did this to ourselves. The prevalence of fear and constant victimization in the hearts and minds of Armenians is so strong that we have successfully backed ourselves into a corner, and have been pushed even further down a ditch by the “Armenians” (if it’s even safe to call them that) who are such big cheerleaders for Russia and for advancing the Russian cause in their near-abroad (most notably, Sarkis and Avetis, and other aggressive Russophiles on here who will deliberately manipulate your every word for their pro-Kremlin agenda) that they are willing to destroy anything resembling an independent state for Armenia and Armenians because they are convinced that there can’t be any other way to succeed. These individuals and individuals like them throughout Armenia’s political culture, are so successful in instilling fear into the minds of Armenians that they will have played a significant part in Armenia’s transition from a short-lived independent state to an Autonomous Oblast within the Russian Federation (if we’re lucky enough to even get autonomy).

    For one reason or another, their personal preferences shape their perception of reality, even when the writing is very clearly on the wall that Russia is acting directly against Armenia’s interests. They don’t seem to understand that the state can be destroyed and rendered insignificant in more ways than one, and that that Turks’ approach to destroying us for their own interests is not that different from what the Russians are doing now for their own interests– if anything, at least Turkey doesn’t play the “friend: while simultaneously sharpening the dagger it’s about to stick into our backs like Russia does. At the end of the day, the two approaches will have the same result: an end to Armenia, and self-deprecation and our inability to look into the long-term will have helped seal our fate.

    I am certain that Russia’s actions are designed to put more pressure on Armenia to give up its existence entirely and incorporate itself into the Russian Federation. These arms sales to Azerbaijan may be Russia’s way of setting the stage for the biggest concession of all: statehood. What’s more frightening is that Armenians nowadays spiritually broken thanks to all of this self-incarcerating and self-limiting attitude of “we can’t do anything without x”, “we can’t do anything without y”, that we will have inherited a state and lost it in a very short time frame. This scenario will completely benefit Russia: it sells billions of dollars of weaponry to Azerbaijan, satisfying the Russian military industrial complex’s appetite for warfare, then pulls a fast one on it by not allowing Azerbaijan to use the weapons it just purchased because it will have incorporated Armenia into its territory and cemented its presence in the South Caucasus for good. This will consequently result in the Armenian state ceasing to exist, and just as Armenian Bolsheviks advocated for the advancement of the odar against the Armenian nation’s interests, the fanatic Russophiles will have done the same in Armenia today.

  5. Tony said:

    It seems that Russia is pressuring both sides to buy Arms. Russia will benefit from these sales. As for Russia:
    I don’t see it as an honest ally/friend to Armenia. Probably, thinking to turn both countries subordinates or satellites to Russia.

  6. dvo said:

    ofcourse this effects the balance of Artsakh! this weapons are send to our enemy which in the end will be used to kill innocent Armenian families, children,woman and men will all perish in the ground by this T-90 and many other military hardware had has been and is still being send to our enemy.

    Imagne living in Artsakh with your family and one day your house gets under heavy attack you lose your whole family, by these heavy military equipments which is send to our enemy by our ally.

    You dont see germany sending military hardware to Iran,libya,syria which are the enemy’s of USA.

    Its funny how sometimes the people you’d take a bullet for, are the ones behind the trigger.

    And i know we have no choice but to accept this and Russia knows this very well, why becouse Armenia lets everyone walk over its back, they know we need Russia more than everything.

    I slowly begin to understand why so many countries turn their backs on the so-called international justice, end find them selfs with lots of enemy’s, Russia cares only about their own interest.

    We haven’t shown our teeth since a long time now, people like Garegin Njdeh knew who our real friends were and what was the right thing for Armenia to do, Armenia is blind becouse of this blindness we would never succes in becoming a strong and wealthy country.

    We dont need to make enemy’s but we also dont need te let other countries with their so-called justice abuse our disadvantage.

    Russia is a good country putin is a good men in my opinion he tries to do the best for its own country even if he has to destroy or abuse other countries for its own interests. Its like real life.

  7. GB said:

    Russia like rest of the world loves Sultan’s cash money from oil revenue. Russia does not care who will control Artsakh. Armenian politicians must play right political tunes with Russians adventurism in Caucasus region.

    Axerbaijan will end up with some internal instabilities, due to their dictatorial Soviet style regime, Best for Armenia stay cool and neutral in volatile Caucasus region and support Artsakhi independence!

  8. Shahen said:

    Thank you Russia, you stupid ass*****, if your going to risk the lives of your brotherly LOYAL historic allies, the Armenians, you better supply Armenia 3x the equipment. This serves RUSSIAN interests as well. This is disgusting that us Artsakh Armenians are having our lives put at a higher risk by these simpleminded decisions. Like general Monte Melkonian said, “we need to rely on ourselves to protect our lands if we are to secure our future.”

  9. Zareh Sahakian said:

    This is outright Russian declaration of war on Armenia. No matter what anybody says, Russia is bent on destroying Armenians.

    Let no one worry about Azeris or Turks taking Armenia for themselves. The end-game of Russia is having Armenia and Karabakh for itself….without Armenians, which a long-held objective of Russia.

    Russia does not care who “owns” Karabakh, as long as Armenia, as a territory, is a captive of Russia.

    I think Armenia would do well in opening up channels to the US. Russia may only respond to threats. A feeling of insecurity of Russian positions in Armenia can only help Yerevan at this point….before it is too late.

  10. Sokimag said:

    Here is more proof, that Russia doesn’t care at all about Armenia. I think Russia’s goal to sell weapons to Azerbaijan is to pressure Armenia for the integration in the Custom Union/Eurasion union. They want Armenia to become part of Custom Union/Eurasian union no matter how harmeful that can be to us.

    Russia wants us to resolve the Artsakh issue by giving back the surrounding territories of Artsakh to Azerbaijan then to have Russian troops guard the border of Artsakh-Azerbaijan. That will resolve the Artsakh issue for the integration of Armenia in Custom Union/Eurasian union.

    My take on that: Forget Custom union/ Eurasian union, just make Armenia as independant as possible and as prosperous as possible.

  11. David-us said:

    “a TOS-1A system can fire up to 24 incendiary or thermobaric rockets in a single salvo”.
    Add the sale of $4bil. of weapons including 100 tanks and attack Helicopters to a seething Dicktator who has every intention of using them and you have the makings of another holocaust.
    And what exactly are these Russian commrades giving Armenia/Artsakh to stop them?
    I’m waiting for the “Dear Mother Russia, protector of the Homeland and Orthodox Church” people to justify this totally irresponsible and treasonous action by the Russians.
    Maybe you’re the ones that are naive and delusional-not the “idealist” diaspora”?

  12. Armenian said:

    I am certain that Russia is planning on putting Karabagh back into Azerbaijan and putting its troops in there as “peacekeepers” between Karabagh and the rest of Azerbaijan. This way they can get Azerbaijan to comply with their Customs Union given that Armenia is totally irrelevant now. When the Azeris take the same “peaceful” measures they were taking when they initially try to shift the balance of Karabagh ethnically in their favor, how will the Russians react? What safeguards will there be to ensure that such a thing won’t happen again?

    None, really. If the Azeris give the blessing to Russian “peacekeeping troops” in between Karabagh and Azerbaijan, it’s virtually a blank check for Azerbaijan to start repopulating the region with their own, to the point where Armenians are once again heavily outnumbered in their own homeland. Russia will have no incentive to act and protect our interests; we gave everything to them, and have absolutely no voice in anything concerning our own affairs. The Azeris will win Karabagh without firing a single bullet, the Russians will win another base with which to terrorize the people of the South Caucasus, and Armenia will walk away the biggest loser, having lost all of its sovereignty and independent decision-making ability to Russia, as well as the land our brothers fought and died for.

    God bless Mother Russia and Russo-Armenian relationship, and protect it from all logical individuals both abroad and in the diaspora!

    • Hratch said:

      Treachery has been a hallmark of our people from day one. All the calamity and destruction we have suffered can be traced back to its origin. In my opinion, nations are just like anything else in nature. Evolution weeds out the weak and inferior. There are no written guarantees that say everything on this planet is sacred and must be protected and preserved forever. Natural selection always takes precedence. It is survival of the fittest. Just because we are here today does not mean we’ll be here tomorrow. The wise, powerful and organized will always outdo their counterpart. Survival is not a right it’s a privilege that has to be earned.

  13. bigmoustache said:

    we did this to ourselves by relying on Russia. while Azerbaijan is trying to be more self reliant (now producing their own unmanned drones and a newly acquired licence from Russia to produce their own ak74s), we choose to rely on second hand handouts at discount prices.
    while Azerbaijan can trade with anyone from Russia, turkey, iran, Georgia, central asia… we have to rely on 2 borders. the north hates Russians and don’t like the fact we are allies with Russia and the south is under economic sanctions by the US and are also untrustworthy.
    is there ANY better reasons to be self sufficient now?
    I guess that wouldn’t sound good to the corrupt RPA government in Armenia.
    the only thing Russian culture ever exported was corruption and alcoholism which has found a home with “Armenians” like the RPA

    • Armenian said:

      He’s in Moscow, attending the Kremlin’s Cyberwarriors Conference where he will pick up new methods of word-twisting and distortion of facts and reality for Mother Russia.

      Either that, or he has somehow been enlightened but you and I both know that the former is more likely than that.

  14. Hratch said:

    Even Sarkis’, with his infinite wisdom, fails to understand that his Orthodox Brotherhood theory is flawed. First, in politics there is no interest in brotherhood or any other hood, it’s purely based on SELF interest. Secondly, even if the brotherhood had any influence, may I remind you that the Russians belongs to the Eastern Orthodox Church while Armenians in the Oriental Orthodox Church. If we are going to based our politics on brotherhood, then we might as well start associating with the other 5 that are in communion with our church, namely the Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Syriac and Malankara Syrian churches…..let’s see how far this “brotherhood” will serve us then?

  15. Mil said:

    Rubbish!!! This is about securing Azeri and Iran gas behind Russian security. They need to build these countries strong before US comes a knocking. Armenia has a bright future when economic activity starts shifting into Central Eurasia. The less for the US means more for Armenians, Azeri, Irananians etc Play smart and pipelines will run via Yerevan instead of Tbilsi.

  16. Russia Swallows Armenia said:

    Russia is proving that she is no ally of Armenia. She uses the potential loss of Armenian lives as a pawn for her own interests. Her long-range strategy is to expand Novorossiya to the Turkish border. Then she will push into Turkey, not for Armenia but to restore the grandness of the Russian Empire. Regime change is needed in Armenia.

  17. Harutik said:

    I see how this article has become a gathering spot for self-destructive peasantry who cant see past their noses and are ready to burn down their dilapidated village in order to save it from imaginary monsters… God save us, if this is the caliber of our people today.

    • Armenian said:

      “imaginary monsters”? You mean the ones who very overtly state that they will be selling more and more arms to our enemy who openly talks about how they will capture our capital and incorporate it into their country? The only self-destructive peasant here is you, who chooses to overly ignore the writing on the wall in order to conform to your fanciful world of make-believe where “Orthodox Brotherhoods” are supposedly pinnacles of foreign policy.

  18. Areg said:

    Maybe, it should be considered that, attacking neigbor country will have its consequences

  19. leo said:

    You reactionaries and propagandists are a joke. Lets look at this with a wise, powerful and organized way. Russia will never allow a large scale war in Artsakh and neither will NATO. Both sides will lose BIG-time. Both sides have agreed to not allow it to become large scale. The Armenian casualties are primarily a result of sniper fire and incursions. Who is encouraging the snipers? why isnt the international community pushing for the retreat of the snipers? Both NATO and Russia like the standoff for many reasons. I’ll mention one main reason why NATO is encouraging them…BTC. Is it to keep the pipelines more secure from covert Russian meddling? most probably. The reasons behind Russia’s actions are a bit more obvious.

*

Top