Protesters in Yerevan Urge Moscow to Halt Arms Sales to Baku

Protesters marched to the Russian Embassy in Yerevan to demand an end to Moscow's arms sales to Baku
Protesters marched to the Russian Embassy in Yerevan to demand an end to Moscow's arms sales to Baku

Protesters marched to the Russian Embassy in Yerevan to demand an end to Moscow’s arms sales to Baku

YEREVAN—A procession of hundreds of demonstrators marched from Republic Square to the Russian Embassy in Armenia with angry calls urging Moscow to stop the sale of weapons to Azerbaijan, reported News.am.

During last week’s massive attacks against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Azerbaijani forces used weapons Baku acquired from Moscow against Armenian targets. This issue was raised by President Serzh Sarkisian both during his visit to Germany and while meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last week.

Russia’s response, as articulated by Medvedev, was that Moscow would continue its arms supplies to Azerbaijan, to deter Baku from acquiring arms from other sources. It has been widely reported that Azerbaijan also deployed drones purchased from Israel during the attacks on Artsakh.

Protesters said that Russia was destabilizing the situation in the region by the sale of weapons to Azerbaijan. They also called on Armenians living in Russia to advance this issue in their host country.

The protesters urged Russia to fulfill its obligations to Armenia as an ally and respect the national interests and Armenia’s security in future decisions. They also vocally demanded that Russia immediately halt the sale of arms to Azrebaijan.

The demonstrators also called on Diaspora communities to, in addition to protesting Azerbaijani diplomatic missions abroad, to include Russian outposts in their acts of grievance.

On Saturday, a similar demonstration took place in front of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry building where the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen were holding talks with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

The Saturday protesters decried international inaction regarding the Karabakh conflict and the atrocities committed by Azerbaijan against civilian and military targets. They also demanded international recognition of Artsakh’s independence and urged the mediators to include the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a party to the conflict in the negotiating process.

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3 Comments

  1. Raffi said:

    If not Russia someone else will fill the gap, name you one: Israel, better stay with Russia that with the profit he is selling arms to Armenia at a discount.

  2. Harutuyn said:

    To the Russians it is business as usual they will sale arms to any one that will come up to the table , instead of waisting voices on a deaf ear we should do the opposite and start purchasing arms from the US so this way we will be even with the azerbajns so called military build up and at the same time lets dont forget we are strong militarily as we speak or else the enemy would of marched into Stepanakert long time ago , we and every one else should know there is no such a thing as Armenian and Russian bratva mentality or brother hood every one looks after their interest and so should Armenia , we should not just lean on the russians as they where the ones that gave naxchevan and xarabax to the azeris as a gift to bring azeris into the comunist block and not to upset turkey and draw turkey into their communist sphere.

  3. Harutik said:

    There is a thing called “geopolitics” that Armenians, due to their emotions, arrogance and political illiteracy, almost always fail to properly understand. Allow me to therefore try to explain a few things in as few words as possible.

    Oil rich Baku has the money to purchase anything it wants from whoever it wants. Yerevan does not have that luxury. Moscow wants to keep leverage over Yerevan and Baku, as well keep the military balance between the two. Moscow will therefore sell Baku what Baku wants and give Armenia what Armenia needs. Russian officials also know that if they do not sell arms to Baku, there are a number of nations – like Israel, Turkey, Ukraine and China – that will. In fact, Israeli-made weapons proved most destructive during the four day war. Moscow wants leverage over Baku. Moscow wants military parity in the region. Moreover, Moscow is trying hard to keep Baku within its orbit essentially because it does not want to see Azerbaijan turn into yet another hotbed of pan-Turkic and Islamic extremism right on its border. In the big picture, this is in Armenia’s long-term interests.

    Russia is not abandoning Armenia (or even Artsakh). Russia continues to be Armenia’s one and only ally. Russia continues to protect Armenia’s borders with Turkey, allowing Armenia to concentrate its resources its border with Azerbaijan. That Armenian officials are squandering the task of properly fortifying Armenia’s and Artsakh’s borders with Azerbaijan due to graft and embezzlement of financial resources is all together another topic of discussion. That said, if there are problems or flaws in Moscow geostrategic vision towards the region, Armenians need to stop throwing temper-tantrums like little emotional children and figure out a way to work with their Russian counterparts to fix the problems that may exist. Our leaders cannot do this by enabling Armenia’s Western operatives or by running off to Western capitols to complain about Moscow.

    Armenians need to embark upon a serious effort to lobby Russian officials. Armenians better realize that the Western world will never provide Armenia with the kind of security it need. Armenians better realize that the West can never be an alternative to Russia. Armenia will not survive the south Caucasus alone. Armenia therefore needs Russia. We as a people therefore need to wake-up and understand all this and figure out ways to more efficiently lobby Russian officials. In other words, we as a people have the desperate need to mature politically. I’m afraid maturing as a people may be a long and bumpy road for us Armenians. I just hope we don’t lose our statehood along the way.

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