YEREVAN — The deputy chief of the Russian military’s General Staff Colonel-General Sergei Istrakov met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday as he visited Armenia for the third time in nine months. Defense Minister Arshak Karapetyan was also present at the meeting.
An Armenian government statement said Pashinyan and Istrakov discussed Russian-Armenian “military-technical cooperation,” an official term that often relates to arms supplies.
They also “exchanged thoughts on the current military-political situation in the region,” it added without elaborating.
Istrakov already visited Yerevan in January and July this year at the head of Russian military delegations that held “staff negotiations” with the Armenian army’s top brass.
Armenia moved to further deepen its close military ties with Russia shortly after the six-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire last November. Moscow has since deployed troops in Armenia’s Syunik province bordering districts southwest of Karabakh retaken by Azerbaijan during and after the hostilities.
Meeting with Karapetyan in Moscow in August, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow will continue to help Yerevan reform, rearm and modernize the Armenian armed forces.
“We can consider that the process of arms supplies to Armenia has started,” the Russian defense minister said as he gifted his Armenian counterpart a dagger.
According to the Armenian Defense Ministry, the two ministers reached “a number of important agreements regarding forthcoming cooperation programs.”