YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — The Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia will be ready to confront the Azerbaijani regime at any time if they were to unleash a war over Artsakh, First Deputy Minister of Defense David Tonoyan said today, commenting on the repeated front-line escalations provoked by the adversary.
Speaking at a meeting with Armenian writers, Tonoyan noted that Ministry has carried out analytical work to evaluate possible threats. He said that the forecasts of economic challenges in the country were made in the first round of the project back in 2008-2010.
“The Armed Forces carry out planning, considering all the scenarios, so the possibility of a renewed war was initially revised and the necessary actions were planned. Social factors may exacerbate or freeze the situation, but it doesn’t matter much for servicemen. We are ready both today and tomorrow.”
The deputy minister did not rule out the war scenario, noting that the Azerbaijani authorities might eventually consider that option to be their “sole salvation”.
“But that will not essentially influence our combat-readiness, as we are always ready,” he added.
Responding to the writers’ concerns that 57 Armenian servicemen were killed in frontline clashes in 2015, Tonoyan attributed the higher number of fatalities to the Azerbaijani armed forces’ more active agreesion.
“They not only open sniper fire and launch commando raids as but also release fire from mines,” he said, regretting to note that the losses increase in number amid the continuing escalation.
“We use the necessary means, so the enemy demonstrates restraint,” Tonoyan added.
In addition, Tonoyan discussed how Armenian and Iranian Armed Forces are in close strategic ties with each other and considering the new geopolitical situation, it cannot be ruled out that cooperation with the neighboring country will expand further.
“Considering the fact that sanctions were imposed on Iran, strategic partnership was limited by some logistics, training, and consultations. This new reality gives opportunities, and there are all grounds to expand strategic partnership,” he said.
From the viewpoint of geopolitics and, Tonoyan also highlighted cooperation with neighboring Georgia. “In the recent years, cooperation with Georgia expands, and we hope to establish firm strategic cooperation,” he said.