Armenia accelerates Russian weapons procurement with a Russian loan 41804164

Defence & Security News - Armenia
Armenia accelerates Russian weapons procurement with a Russian loan
The Armenian government has accelerated the procedure pertaining the procurement of Russian-made weapons with a USD200 million loan provided last year by Moscow. The decision comes in the aftermath of the latest conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, which resulted in more than 100 dead from both sides.
Armenia accelerates Russian weapons procurement with a Russian loan
Russian-made BMP-2 IFV and Mi-17 helicopter of the Armenian Army
during drills (Photo: Armenian Ministry of Defence)

Last February, Russia offered Armenia a list of military equipment to choose from, by making use of the USD200 million loan. Now, the Ministry of Defence will finalize the equipment to be procured. Moreover, based on a bilateral 2013 agreement, the weapons would be sold at the same price as the Russian Armed Forces, which is considerably lower than that sold in the international market.

However, the fact that Azerbaijan used Russian-made weapons during its latest offensive, sent many Armenian people to streets protesting against Moscow’s policy. Baku acquired Russian equipment of more than USD4 billion in 2010.

Armenians have been angered by Russia’s stance for not supporting their country, given that Yerevan is a member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), while Azerbaijan is not. This is considered a major blow to the organization’s credibility as a military alliance.

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s Prime Minister, defended this policy during the 7 April meeting in Yerevan with his Armenian counterpart, Ovik Abrahamyan and President Sherz Sarkisian. He said that Moscow’s policy maintains the necessary power balance in the region. He stressed that if Russia didn’t sell its weapons to both countries, they would both find other providers who would eventually sell them more lethal ones.

The Armenian government has asked from the country’s Central Bank to move forward with the necessary work with the Russian Vnesheconombank, in order to finalize the financial agreement by the end of April.