Russian Arm Sales to Baku Worries ARF
YEREVAN—Recent reports that Russia supplied Azerbaijan with $1 billion in arms will increase the likelihood of war and is unbecoming of a strategic ally, said Armenian Revolutionary Federation political affairs director Giro Manoyan during a press conference on Tuesday.
“Russia must understand that the government, the people and political forces of Armenia are unhappy with its decision,” said Manoyan who argued that although the balance in Armenian-Azeri military aid was not undermined “it is clear that the likelihood of war increases when additional weapons are brought into play. This is not a behavior expected from a strategic ally.”
The ARF leader said that Russia struck the deal to maintain its influence in the region.
Armenian officials brushed aside reports of the Russian arms sales to Baku. At the same time, Russia and Armenia signed a new military cooperation agreement with provisions for increasing military assistance. Under a separate accord, Russia pledged to assist in advancing Armenia’s Air Force, as a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, of which Armenia is a member.
The opposition Heritage Party and the Armenian National Congress also expressed strong concern on Tuesday about the Russian arm sales to Baku.
Commenting on other regional concerns, Manoyan, during the same press conference, pointed out that Turkey, by slamming the change of power in Egypt has gone against the international community and will find itself isolated.
He argued that the so-called Arab Spring in Egypt was not successful and while major players in the region are working hard to contain the crisis so it does not spread to neighboring countries, Turkey has been actively pursuing a counter policy.
Manoyan warned that the events in Egypt and Syria have impacted the Armenian communities there and urged the Armenian government to “demonstrate flexibility in approach in pursuing its interests” in the region.
The ARF leader sounded downbeat about a possible end to the Syrian crisis pointing out that efforts to contain the conflict within Syria’s borders have been unsuccessful and that recent bombings in Lebanon are a strong indication that the conflict has spilled over into neighboring states.