France will sell solely defensive weapons to Armenia, French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu has told a commission in the country’s senate during discussions of the 2024 budget.
Lecornu has not said what type of weapons France intends to sell to Armenia since that issue must be finalized with Yerevan sometime this week, Azatutyun.am reported.
The minister, however, has emphasized that weapons that are being considered for sale are only defensive and not offensive and meant to assist Armenia in defending lives and the security of its territory.
Lecornu told the senators that France already has a working permanent defense mission in Armenia. Its attache, the minster said, is an experienced general and is overseeing “an important effort.”
During a visit to Armenia earlier this month, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said Armenia needed to be able to defend itself weeks after Azerbaijani forces invaded Nagorno-Karabakh despite the presence of Russian peacekeepers.
She said Paris has agreed to deliver military equipment to Armenia.
After visiting displaced Artsakh residents, including burn patients injured in a Stepanakert fuel depot station explosion, the minister pledged military support.
“I would like to publicly state that France has agreed on future contracts with Armenia which will allow the delivery of military equipment to Armenia so that it can ensure its defense. You’ll understand that I can’t go into more detail at the moment,” Colonna said on October 3.
Colonna’s pledge of military support to Armenia has further angered Baku, with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan complaining to European Council President Charles Michel about what he called the “anti-Azerbaijan” posturing by Paris and the EU.