YEREVAN — The Armenian Defense Ministry signaled on Monday significant progress in the implementation of multimillion-dollar defense contracts signed by Armenia and Russia after the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
In a short statement to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service, the ministry said that “contentious issues” with Russian arms manufacturers have been “mostly settled.” Some of those issues remain unresolved, though, it added without giving any details.
The statement did not explicitly refer to the contracts for the delivery of Russian weapons worth $400 million, according to Armenian officials. The latter repeatedly complained last year that the Armenian military has still not received any of those weapons.
Two senior Armenian lawmakers revealed earlier this month that Russia has shipped the first batch of that military hardware. But they did not specify the types of weaponry commissioned and/or received by Yerevan.
Russia’s ambassador to Armenia, Sergei Kopyrkin, acknowledged late last month “issues” in the implementation of Russian-Armenian arms deals. He implied that Russian defense companies have not fulfilled their contractual obligations on time because of having to manufacture more weapons for the Russian military embroiled in the continuing war with Ukraine.
Russia has long been Armenia’s principal supplier of weapons and ammunition. The South Caucasus nation has acquired them at domestic Russian prices, set below international market-based levels, and even for free.
With no end in sight to the war in Ukraine and tensions between Moscow and Yerevan continuing to grow, the Armenian government is increasingly looking for other arms suppliers. Since September 2022 it has reportedly signed a number of defense contracts with India worth at least $400 million. In October 2023, it also signed two arms deals with France.