Russian newspaper Izvestia published an article entitled “Russia will supply the same weapons to Armenia as to Azerbaijan,” which states that supplies of arms and military equipment to Armenia within the parameters of a $200 million loan have already begun. However, official Moscow and Yerevan sources have not reported details on the terms and types of supplied weapons. The author of the article writes that, in addition to supplying military equipment, Russia will train Armenian military experts to maintain the supplied weapons.
Izvestia also interviewed the press secretary of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, who confirmed this information. Experts believe these heavy weapon systems will significantly improve the potential of the Armenian Armed Forces. At the same time, Moscow and Yerevan haven’t yet agreed on the full list of weapons and military equipment to be purchased by Armenia, despite the fact that the weapons supply has already begun.
Though the press secretary of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia refused to report on the types of heavy weapon systems and terms, the Russian newspaper wrote that Armenia intended to purchase the following from the Russian Federation: Smerch multiple rocket launchers and their respective ammunition, Igla-S man-portable air defense systems, Intelligence complex Autobase-M, TOS-1A Solntsepyok multiple rocket launchers with transport-loaders, 9M113M guided missiles, RPG-26 grenade launchers, Dragunov sniper rifles, Tiger armored vehicles and communication equipment.
Izvestia also quotes the statement made by the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, during a joint press conference following the talks with the president of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, on August 10, which said that Armenia is Russia’s ally on the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and that Russia has certain commitments that it always fulfills.
The expert on military affairs, Editor-in-Chief of Eksport Vooruzheniy (Arms Export) magazine Andrey Frolov, told Izvestia that Moscow supplies Armenia with approximately the same weapons that Azerbaijan has previously purchased from Russia. These supplies will undoubtedly improve the military balance in favor of Yerevan but Baku will still maintain certain supremacy, Frolov believes.
“The military budget difference between Armenia and Azerbaijan is very big. In this case, it seems difficult to talk about parity. It is only possible to avoid a critical situation with targeted investments,” the Russian military expert noted. Izvestia reported that Russia supplied Azerbaijan with Smerch multiple rocket launchers, TOS-1A Solntsepyok multiple rocket launchers, T-90 tanks, attack helicopters and other offensive weapons totaling $4 billion.
A correspondent from Radio Azatutyun tried to obtain information about the weapons from the Russian minister of defense, Sergey Shoygu, who participated in the regular meeting of the Council of the Ministers of Defense of CSTO member states. However, Shoygu refused to talk with Armenian journalists.