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May 23 2018 | 5:47am AET

Defense chief calls supply of arms to Baku ‘bad’

Source: Asbarez | Thursday, 29 June 2017
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Armenia's Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan

Armenia’s Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan

YEREVAN—Any supply of weapons to Azerbaijan is “bad” because Azerbaijan is an unpredictable neighbor and mechanism are not in place to control the use of those weapons, Armenia’s Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan on Wednesday told a press conference.

Any supply of weapons to Azerbaijan is negative, given that Azerbaijan is an unpredictable neighbor, because of the lack of mechanisms of public control, Armenian Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan told a press conference today.

Sagsyan said any supply of weapons to Azerbaijan – be it Russian, Israeli or Turkish – is fraught with new risks, “because it’s hard to predict who in that country is going to make decisions at any moment, including in the near future.” He explained that Azerbaijan resorts to military aggression every time there are domestic concerns.

“If any official in Armenia ever says that he is encouraged by the sale of Russian weapons to Azerbaijan, he will definitely not be being sincere,” said Sargsyan who, nevertheless, said that Armenia was pleased with the implementation and progress of Armenia’s military partnership with Russia.
The defense minister explained that the Russia-Armenia military partnership is an ambitious program that is periodically assessed and expanded.

“The issues we raise within the framework of that partnership are more long-term and aimed at stabilizing situation than the supply of weapons of this or that amount,” said Sagsyan. “We receive the weapons that we buy from Russia. We also get weapons within the framework of the military-technical cooperation [with Moscow].”

Sargsyan said the resumption of large-scale military operations in Artsakh were unlikely. However, he added that Baku’s resumption of such activities would be “insane.”

“There has been no development that would suggest that the issue could be solved in favor of Azerbaijan,” Sargsyan said. Instead, he said, war could strike a serious blow to Azerbaijan’s economy and statehood. He also said that such military escalation would pose serious risks for Armenia.

In addressing the surge in military activity in the Karabakh conflict last week, as a result of which four Armenian soldiers were killed, Sargsyan said that there were also losses on the Azerbaijani side that Baku was reluctant to report.

He said that as a result of the retaliation by Artsakh Armed Forces, eight Azerbaijani soldiers were killed, adding that the number of unconfirmed losses from Azerbaijan is even larger, but the Armenian side is unable to obtain relevant information and evidence.

Sargsyan did add that the eight Azerbaijani soldiers had not yet been buried, per the information available to the Armenian Defense Ministry.




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