MOSCOW — Russia has begun supplying weaponry to Armenia in accordance to the 200 million loan signed last year, Russian Izvestiya daily said on Tuesday.
The Armenian government moved to speed up the implementation of the loan agreement after the April clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh where Azerbaijan used some of the deadliest weapons that it purchased from Russia in recent years.
The newspaper writes that in addition to supplying military equipment to Armenia, Russia will also train Armenian specialists who will maintain the weapons. The Armenian Defense Ministry confirmed that supplies have already begun, however refused to reveal the list of weapons.
Experts believe that the matter primarily concerns heavy systems that will substantially increase the capabilities of the Armenian armed forces. At the same time, according to an Izvestiya source “privy to the situation”, while arms deliveries to Armenia have already begun, the complete list of weapons and military equipment to be purchased by the Armenian side is yet to be finalized between Yerevan and Moscow.
Expert on military affairs Andrey Frolov, who is the chief editor of the Russian Arms Export magazine, told Izvestiya that Russia is supplying Armenia with about the same set of weapons that was previously purchased by Azerbaijan. “These supplies will undoubtedly improve the military balance for Yerevan, but Baku will still retain certain superiority,” Frolov said.
“There is too much of a difference in the sizes of the military budgets of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Here it is difficult to speak of parity. It is possible only not to bring the gap to the critical level through targeted investments,” the Russian military expert added.