Armenian President hints Russia won’t be the country’s only arms source in future
The Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said that the country is going to cooperate with different countries when it comes to procurement of arms and military equipment:
“Our major ally and partner in this regard is the Russian Federation, which is the world’s largest arms supplier nowadays and with which we have some concrete agreements. The latter allows us to procure modern armaments on the most competitive terms. However, we will certainly take advantage of some other opportunities.”
Experts believe that Armenia has thus announced the diversification of its defence policy which will allow Armenia to overcome its reliance on Russia in this sphere.
According to political analyst Stepan Safaryan, Sargsyan hasn’t disclose all the details yet but openly hints that Armenia will not confine itself to a single arms supplier:
“That’s good. Russia has always stated that arms sales is just a business for them, whereas for us it’s a security matter. Our defence interests prompt us to buy what we need from the right place. I fear that our relationship with our strategic partner Russia is going to move to a business plane.”
Safaryan says that Armenia has drawn relevant conclusions after the hostilities on the Karabakh-Azerbaijan contact line in April 2016: it is inconvenient buying arms from a single source. Safaryan, just like the President, considers it important that Armenia, being a member of CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization), can buy Russian arms at domestic prices.