Sarkisian Says Baku’s ‘Arms Race’ is Threat to Region

President Serzh Sarkisian

YEREVAN—The arms race unleashed by Azerbaijan should be cause for concern for the entire region’s security prospects, said President Serzh Sarkisian Thursday, during his welcoming remarks to the participants of a conference entitled, “Regional Security Dynamics in the South Caucasus.”

“The arms race unleashed by Azerbaijan, which exponentially exceed the ceilings set by the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), is cause for concern not only for Armenia and the region but also on a larger scale from the perspective of regional security,” said Sarkisian. “Under these conditions, Armenia is forced to focus greater attention on modernizing its military system as a key factor in containing the belligerent ambitions and ensuring stability in the region.”

Sarkisian said the complex and difficult geopolitical developments in the South Caucasus creates opportunities and challenges for the region’s nations, as they attract international interest and foster competition in the area.

“The critical challenges facing the region are the unresolved conflicts which need comprehensive and final solutions. On many occasions, we have reiterated our solid will that the existing conflicts can be resolved only through peaceful negotiations on the basis of fundamental principles of international law,” said Sarkisian who added that the OSCE Minsk Group is the only platform for conflict resolution that is acceptable to Armenia.

He said that lasting peace in the Karabakh conflict can be attained only if the physical security and self-determination of the population of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is guaranteed.

“We are confident that open borders and the implementation of common economic programs can become the best incentive for the mutual understanding and consequently will create an environment of trust resolving problems,” explained Sarkisian, warning that efforts to create schism between regional states “will inevitably lead to the instability and development of distrust in the entire South Caucasus.”

Sarkisian also said that Armenia initiated the rapprochement process with Turkey based on the ideal of neighborly cooperation. He added that while Armenia remains true to the principles of the process, political will from Turkey is needed for its success.

Sarkisian also discussed the role energy resources play in development of the region, but warned that new energy projects must not be used to upset the “equilibrium” of the region.

“Such policies are not only a threat to the security of individual states in the region, but also may seriously endanger the uninterrupted functioning of the transit routes of energy sources. We shouldn’t allow the Southern Energy Corridor to become a source for feeding a new war. That is not good for the region and for the oil and gas companies,” added Sarkisian.

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6 Comments

  1. Somebody said:

    Looks like Armenia cant participate in this arms race, therefore he is whining around. Dont forget: money talks, not mouth….

  2. Albert Nercessian said:

    The Armenian military has the equiptment and tactics to defeat the Azeri military but if the Armenian military were to acquire tanks with composite armor, it could not only defeat but also devastate the Azeri forces. Composite armor is different than regular steel armour used in older generation tanks like the T-72. It is composed to layers of ceramic, metal and kevlar which can defeat armour piercing rounds and anti-tank missles. The Armenian T-72’s have to fight Azeri T-72’s and you don’t want to fight an enemy with the same equiptment. You need better equiptment. The Armenian and Azeri air defenses are also equally matched with both possessing the S-300. Armenia needs to acquire different types of air defenses that supplement the S-300.

  3. Peter Megerdumian said:

    The Greek economic crisis could be an opportunity for the Greek government to sell weapons systems to Armenia at discount rates. The Greeks have some great equipment and it is a win-win situation. The Armenians and the Greeks are brethren and we need to help each other. Armenia should join the new Russian Eurasian Economic Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakstan. That would be real boost to the Armenian economy.

  4. Naim said:

    Let me get this straight. You occupy 20% of an adjacent country. When they threaten to take it back by force after 20 years of failed negotiations, they are the ones who are a threat to regional security?!!

    • Norin Radd said:

      Shut your mouth . . . let me get this straight . . .you get Soviets to partition Armenian land and give it to you as a gift in 1920s then in 1990s you begin to ethnically cleanse Armenian populations living in Sumgait, and their Armenian ancestral lands of Arstakh (FORMERLY known as Nagorno-Karabagh). Then you fire grad rockets into said Armenian civilian villages as means to clear out the indigenous Armenian population so that you can get more free ARMENIAN land the way you got some from Stalin. . . . . .then that same Armenian population outnumbered 5 to 1 begins resisting and defending itself, then it pummels and crushes your military advances, then it takes fortified Azeri military checkpoints said to have been “impossible” to overtake such as Keljabar . . . . then you lose the war you started yourself, then you sign a ceasefire . . then for 20 years you violate that ceasefire after you got a break from the war . . . .then you begin you threats again just like you did in 1990 . . . then you violate the line of contact again and again . . . .THEN you have then nerve claim that you are not a threat to regional security?

      Be happy we stopped before Baku and tell your government to calm down, next time the Russians won’t feel sorry for you and won’t prevent Armenians to dance in the streets of Baku and go to the bathroom in Aliyev’s palace.

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