Armenia’s Defense Chief Warns of Efforts to ‘Destabilize’ Region

Armenia's Defense Minister David Tonoyan (left) with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu
Armenia's Defense Minister David Tonoyan (left) with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu

Armenia’s Defense Minister David Tonoyan (left) with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu

Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on Sunday to discuss, among other issues, last month aggressive attack by Azerbaijan on Armenia.

“Davit Tonoyan emphasized that the aggressive rhetoric of some countries and steps of military nature taken by them are aimed at destabilizing and militarizing the regional situation,” said a statement issued by Armenia’s Defense Ministry.

Evidently, Tonoyan was referring to not only Azerbaijan but also Turkey, which has increased its war of words with Armenia, first blaming Yerevan for Azerbaijan’s attack and most recently slamming Armenia for siding with Greece and Cyprus in a naval dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The two leaders also discussed the ongoing efforts to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as bilateral defense issues, which the defense ministry said involved reaching an understanding on “upcoming steps toward military cooperation” between Russian and Armenia.

The talks were held on the sidelines of a security forum, which coincided with the start of the annual International Army Games organized by the Russian military.
Tonoyan’s press office also reported that during his trip to Moscow he will meet with top Russian defense industry executives and government officials overseeing Russian arms exports.

A contract for the modernization and repair of Armenia’s Su-25 fleet was signed between the Armenian Ministry of Defense and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation on Monday.

The agreement was signed at the “Patriot” Congress-Exhibition Center on the sidelines of the “Army-2020” international military-technical conference.

The document was signed by Armenian Deputy Defense Minister Makar Ghambaryan and Ilya Tarasenko, Deputy Director General of UAC.

Sukhoi Su-25 is a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft designed to provide close air support for the ground forces.

Separately, Russia expressed willingness to discuss with Armenia the supply of an additional batch of Su-30SM generation 4+ fighters, a spokesperson for the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation of Russia told Interfax.

“The work with the Armenian partners continues. The topic of the purchase of aircraft will be discussed if the Armenian side confirms its interest,” said Maria Vorobyova, official representative of the FSMTC of Russia.

In 2019, Armenia purchased four Su-30SM fighters from Russia. Yerevan announced plans to buy new aircraft.

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