– By David Petrosyan


The recent arms shipping from Russia to Azerbaijan of nearly $1 billion

have been controversial in the Armenian press, among experts and in the

political field.


Recall that, according to the list of publications the supply includes

offensive weapons such as 94 T-90S tanks, 100 armored infantry fighting

vehicles BMP-3, 18 self-propelled artillery units “MSTA-C”, 18 multiple

launch rocket systems ‘Smerch’, 18 self-propelled artillery “Vienna”,

six units of heavy flamethrower system TOS – 1A “Sunshine”, a variety

of machines for maintenance, spare parts, etc.


The delivery is conducted by the Russian Federation due to agreements

signed in 2010 – 2011 by President D. Medvedev and Defense Minister

Anatoly Serdyukov. The latter, as it is known, was a defendant in a

number of corruption scandals.


In those years, Russia also supplied Azerbaijan with two divisions of

anti-missile systems S-300PMU-2, air defense missile systems such as

“Tor-2ME” 60 transport helicopters Mi-17 and 24 attack helicopters

Mi-35M for a total of $3,000,000,000.


Also recall that Azerbaijan has purchased large quantities of arms from

Israel, Ukraine and Belarus in recent years.


Some experts and politicians in Armenia believe that the above-mentioned

arms shippings contribute to an imbalance in armaments between Armenia

and Nagorno-Karabakh on one hand, and Azerbaijan on the other, in

favor of the latter.


According to this point of view, these circumstances will ensure that

Azerbaijan starts fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and

in the border area with Armenia and will achieve military victory,

though the following circumstances are not taken into account:


    – Russia continues to supply Armenia, as a member of the CSTO

military equipment on its domestic prices that are cheaper than those

to Azerbaijan. Moscow is also supplying arms to Armenia in the

framework of bilateral military-technical cooperation, which is often

not included in the relevant UN registers.


    – Russia’s 102nd base is on the territory of Armenia, which

constrains a possible military intervention by Turkey in case of an

escalation of a conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and the outbreak of

hostilities on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. This makes it possible

for Armenia to concentrate its main power and resources in the

easterly direction, which means against Azerbaijan. At the same time

Azerbaijan cannot concentrate all its power and resources only against

Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, as it has threats from other directions,

including from Iran.


    – The military balance also includes the well-equipped defense in

military engineering in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and on the

Armenian-Azerbaijani border.


    – The heavy weapons supplied to Armenia can be upgraded and are

being upgraded. No attention is paid to the fact that for example,

the same tank T-90, in fact, is the modernized version of the T-72B,

which is used by the Armenian army and the Defense Army of Nagorno –

Karabakh Republic.


    – By supplying arms to Baku and Yerevan, Moscow, in its regional

military-technical policy, adheres to the course to maintain a balance

between all three parties in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This

balance is increasingly taking an asymmetric format. A partly similar

military-technical policy was conducted by the U.S for many years in

relation to Israel, Egypt, Turkey and Greece.


However, the recent deliveries of Russian weapons, as usual, have been

used by various interest groups in both Armenia and Azerbaijan,

including at the highest level, to promote their interests.


In particular:

    – Pro-Western Armenian pressure groups have used the fact of

Russian arms supplies to Baku to provoke anti-Russian sentiment,


    – This fact was used by President Ilham Aliyev to organize another

round of anti-Armenian hysteria in Baku on the eve of the presidential

elections to be held this fall. Several statements were made by

President Ilham Aliyev after the military parade on June 26 in Baku.

In particular, the Armenian residents learned from these statements

that the army of Azerbaijan is 10 times the Armenian army by its

military power. In addition, according to Aliyev, the Armenians of

Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are living on historical Azerbaijani



In general, the people of the region and the entire world are used to

such rhetoric.


The experts understand that the Azerbaijani army does not have any

advantages over the armed forces of Armenia, especially for the

implementation of the blitzkrieg plans (lightning war), which are

incorporated in the military doctrine of Azerbaijan.


However, the international organizations, especially the OSCE, should

pay attention to the fact that Azerbaijan:

    – Violates quotas for heavy and offensive weapons set by the

Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.


    – Refuses to comply with the terms of the “Agreement to

consolidate the cease-fire” (sometimes referred to as an agreement on

the settlement of incidents) in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which

entered into force on 6 February 1995. Recall that de-jure it was a

unique kind of agreement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which was

concluded under the auspices of the OSCE, and then it was properly

registered in the organization.


However, as we see it, the international organizations do not tend to

pay attention yet to the failure of Baku to comply with the two

aforementioned documents. There is also the failure of the Foreign

Ministry of Armenia in this, which does not remind its partners in the

OSCE about the need to monitor the implementation of existing

agreements and contracts.


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