Significant part of the weapons has already been supplied to Armenia in the end of 2015 and the early 2016 under 200 mln USD Russian loan, tangible growth of frequency of military transport aviation flights from Russia to Armenia testifies to this, Deputy Director of Caucasus Institute Sergey Minasyan expressed this opinion to ArmInfo.
Under the agreement on provision of a 200 mln USD loan to Armenia, the Armenian armed forces will acquire 9K58 “Smerch” multiple artillery rocket systems with ammunition, “Igla-S” surface-to-air missile systems, “Avtobaza-M” passive signals-intelligence systems, TOS-1A “Solntsepyok” flame throwers, “Tigr” all-terrain infantry mobility vehicles, “Konkurs-M” anti-tank missile systems, RPG-26 anti-tank rocket launchers, KamAZes, as well as communications equipment and engineering equipment.
The agreement of Russia’s concessional loan was signed in 2015. Armenia will start repaying the loan at the annual interest of 3% in 2018 in terms of Russian rubles within 10 years. The prepayment will total just 10%. Actually, the two Armenian republics can buy an endless amount of weapons from Russia for $200mln considering the continuous devaluation of the Russian ruble and Armenia’s CSTO membership.
“This agreement was an important phase of Armenian-Russian military-technical cooperation, taking into consideration that supply of weapons to Armenia in previous decades was done from mainly Russian Defense Ministry’s resources and not from the plants producers directly. However, despite the list of modern types of weapons in the contract in reality the contract aims at regular cheap but quite good and quantitative rearmament of Armenian Armed Forces”, he noted.
According to Minasyan’s opinion, these measures will significantly stabilize the balance between the sides of Karabakh conflict, which was destabilized as a result of Russia’s wide-scale supply of modern weapons to Azerbaijan.
The expert thinks that supply of Smerch and TOS-1A besides solving solely military tasks will also help Yerevan conduct the strategy of Azerbaijan’s containment. Due this Baku will be contained from a temptation to re-launch wide-scale military actions as the possible material and human losses will not justify the goal of resumption of new war in Karabakh.
“In this light it is obvious that although current Armenian-Russian agreement does not solve key issues of maintaining military balance in the long term but it contributes to this significantly. The question remains open whether Azerbaijan will activate its attempts to destabilize regional balance including within military- technical cooperation with Russia. In any case, low prices on fuels will not contribute to this process in the long-term”, Minasyan summarized.
Source: Armi Info