MOSCOW — Armenia will not tolerate occupation of its border regions, Defense Minister Arshak Karapetyan said at a meeting with his Russian counterparty Sergei Shoigy in Moscow.

Karapetyan stressed that the Republic of Armenia remains committed to the establishment of lasting peace in the region, to the continuation of negotiations in that direction, but at the same time, will not tolerate the occupation of its border regions, will take all necessary steps to restore territorial integrity.

Taking the opportunity, the Armenian Minister of Defense expressed gratitude for the peacekeeping mission in Nagorno Karabakh, noting that with the efforts of the Russian peacekeepers the peaceful life in Nagorno Karabakh has been restored, the uninterrupted connection with the Republic of Armenia is ensured.

The Minister of Defense stressed the inadmissibility of periodic provocations and violations of the ceasefire regime by the Azerbaijani side in the area of ​​responsibility of the peacekeepers, citing as an example the use of a strike drone registered today.

Arshak Karapetyan also referred to the intensive reforms being carried out in the field of defense and thanked his counterpart for the comprehensive support provided in this direction. The Minister emphasized that the Armenian-Russian military-political relations are moving to an unprecedented high level.

Russia will continue to help Armenia reform and modernize its armed forces, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Karapetyan on Wednesday.

“We attach great importance to developing our cooperation in the military sphere both in a bilateral format and within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization,” Shoigu said at the start of their talks held in Moscow. “We are ready to continue to assist in the implementation of the program of reforming Armenia’s armed forces.”

“It’s not an easy task, but I think that it can be accomplished with your experience,” he said, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

“Armenia is an ally and key partner of Russia in ensuring security in the South Caucasus and we are extremely interested in maintaining security in that region,” added Shoigu. He described the Russian military base in Armenia as a “guarantor” of regional security.

Karapetyan was reported to reaffirm the Armenian government’s strong interest in further deepening military ties with Moscow.

“Russia is the only state that gives the Armenian people really tangible output for security and now deals with security issues not only in Nagorno-Karabakh but also along Armenia’s borders,” he told Shoigu.

In a statement on the talks, the Armenian Defense Ministry said the two sides reached “a number of important agreements regarding forthcoming cooperation programs.” It did not elaborate.

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