Russia Will Continue to Supply Arms to Azerbaijan

YEREVAN (A.W.)—Russia will continue to supply weapons to Azerbaijan, fulfilling an arms deal reached between the two countries. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin made this statement during a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan, on April 8. Rogozin was responding to a reporter’s question about how he interprets Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian’s statement about Russian arms sales to Baku, reported Yerkir.

“Everything is done in compliance with the contracts. Both these countries are our strategic partners,” Rogozin was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency TASS. Rogozin co-chairs the Russian-Azerbaijani bilateral intergovernmental commission.

In recent years, Russia has continued to sell arms—estimated at $4 billion—to Azerbaijan.

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (left) and Armenia's President Serge Sarkisian on April 7 (photo: president.am)
Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (left) and Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian on April 7 (Photo: president.am)

On April 7, Sarkisian met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and stressed that Azerbaijan had made full use of the weapons purchased from Russia. Sarkisian noted that because Russia is perceived as Armenia’s “closest ally and friend,” news of Baku’s use of Russian-sold modern weapons has offended the Armenian public, reported ArmeniaNow.

“Dmitry Anatolievich, I’m sure you know that the fact that the Azerbaijanis used in full weapons that they acquired in Russia recently has had a lot of resonance in Armenia,” Sarkisian reportedly told Medvedev during the meeting. “This is natural because the people of Armenia consider Russia to be our closest ally and friend.”

“Now there is a situation in which we do not exclude another provocation… Without having any great illusions, we expect from the Minsk Group co-chairs and our allies targeted statements and concrete actions,” Sarkisian was quoted as saying.

According to ArmeniaNow, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan met with his Russian counterpart and called for the acceleration of the planned delivery of Russian weapons, estimated to value $200 million.

 

(Note: The official website of Armenia’s president was down at the time of writing and publishing this article.)

38 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot Russia. You’re enabling Azerbaijan. In addition to that, Russia selling weapons to the Azeris gives them encouragement that a military solution is possible and that Russia might even look the other way. Even if that’s not what Russia wants, the Azeris could be reading it that way. And that’s dangerous as we see this week.

    It’s hard not to feel that Russia is using the Karabakh status quo for its own benefit, which comes at our expense.

  2. This is the result of spineless diplomacy on part of Armenian leadership. Nobody in the diaspora dares to challenge when Sergik is welcomed as a hero. As a result of his policies we have a treacherous “partner” in Russia who openly declares they will sell weapons to our enemy right after we lost so many actual heros. Had we put our foot down things would have turned out differently, and we may not have had the 4 day war and 44 (and counting) fallen soldiers.

    Dear ARF/ANCA, when are you going to speak up? Enough of complacency.

    • God bless NKR war veteran Presidents of RoA and NKR: Honorable Messrs Serzh Sargsyan and Bako Sahakyan, who skillfully managed this very serious crises and mini-war.
      God bless the Armenian warriors.
      Congratulations and thanks to President Putin and Russian AF for breaking the back of cannibalistic, throat cutting ISIS criminals, and giving the Syrian government and SAA a fighting chance. Needless to say, if ISIS had won in Syria (…or ever wins), the irreplaceable, historic presence of Armenians in Syria would be no more.
      God bless the centuries old friendship of Armenian and Russian peoples.

      btw: I am sure almost everyone has seen the incredible pictures of 100s of veteran volunteers on the main square of Stepanakert. I was very happy to spot amongst those volunteers the BarevaPresident. It was a little hard to spot him, because he was in full combat fatigue, helmet and all, and geared up to go to the front.

    • While you are at it, don’t forget to thank Putin for the rocket barrage we just received…

    • {While you are at it, don’t forget to thank Putin for the rocket barrage we just received…}

      If you thank your friends in the West, specifically PM Netanyahu, for the massive damage their weapons caused NKR military, I will thank President Putin.

      One of the greatest single-event loss of life was a strike by the Israeli Harop drone on a bus carrying veteran volunteers: 7 were killed. Israel also supplied Azerbaijani invaders highly advanced anti-tank weapons just days before the Azerbaijani blitz.

    • @ Avery, The Israeli weapons to Azerbaijan are to be expected. Should Russian weapons to Azerbaijan also be expected? This is our supposed ally that legally guarantees our security? Also the completely useless ECU that Russia sucked Armenia into? Forget this useless group coming to Armenia’s defense, let alone not one condemned the attacks with Belarus actually calling to uphold the “UN resolution”.. Israel, nor the USA for that matter, ever claims to be a fiend of Armenia, Artakh or the Genocide or anything..Russia does but acts differently.

    • {The Israeli weapons to Azerbaijan are to be expected.}

      Really? Almost all Muslim countries in the broader Middle Eastern region and worldwide are Israel’s enemies. Why, then, is it “expected” in the true sense of the word?

      {Russia is our supposed ally that legally guarantees our security.}

      When did Russia fail to guarantee the Republic of Armenia’s security?

      {The completely useless ECU that Russia sucked Armenia into. Forget this useless group coming to Armenia’s defense.}

      ECU was terminated by an agreement establishing the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). But maybe we’ll leave the issue of it being useless or the only true choice to Armenian citizens’ discretion? Also, the EAEU is not charged with coming to Armenia’s defense. The CSTO and bilateral Russian-Armenian agreements are.

      {Israel, nor the USA for that matter, ever claims to be a friend of Armenia […].

      “As you celebrate 24 years of independence, know that the United States is a partner and friend and that we fully support the security, prosperity, and democratic development of Armenia”. –Barack Hussein Obama, 21 September 2015.

  3. Cash striving Putin will sale the entire Armenia to Turkic herds…. Too bad that we are a fake ally with brotherly “orthodox” Russia! Russia right now control entire Armenia’s foreign policy, militarily, and economically, where 2 million Armenian migrants labor force tied up with “mother Russia” economically …

    We need much more intellectual Armenians in Armenia and around the world, where they can balance our survival as a nation. Right now Armenia sandwiched between two evil countries, Turkey and Russia! May God bless Armenia!

    • Here Armenian leadership is to be blamed for not demanding true partnership from Russia.

  4. I know this is going to be difficult for many of you to digest but try to understand that Russia is doing its best to keep Azerbaijan from drifting away. The last thing Russia needs is another hostile neighbor. From an Armenian perspective, it is better to keep Azerbaijan within the Russian orbit. If Baku breaks its ties with Moscow, Azerbaijan will become a breeding ground for Islamist, Turkish, Israeli and Western interests. Also, if Russia did not sell anything to Baku, Baku would still have the billions to purchase arms from Ukraine, Poland, China, Turkey, Israel, Britain, USA, etc, and Russia would lose any leverage it has over Baku. The reason why Moscow was able make Baku agree to a ceasefire was because of this leverage. Had there not been a Russian factor in Baku, it would be a whole different ball game and the region would most probably engulf in an inferno. So, be careful what you wish for. You people need to look at the bigger geostrategic picture.

    • Most of us get the geopolitical picture. We’ve been at the receiving end of it for centuries. It’s still painful to see it happen and that Russia is not raising a higher voice against the crimes coming from Azerbaijan.

      We Armenians are not going to be the one starting a war. But Armenia needs to have an edge militarily over Azerbaijan to deter them from restarting the war. But that’s not easy and Russia isn’t giving it to us.

      I knew Medvedev was not going to have good news regarding weapons when he arrived in Armenia. He went to the genocide memorial as if to soften the blow.

      Also keep in mind that Azerbaijan (and Turkey) has more to offer Russia in terms of oil and gas transit and economic markets than Armenia.

      “The reason why Moscow was able make Baku agree to a ceasefire was because of this leverage.”
      Don’t forget the Artsakh warrior spirit on display in the 4 day war.

      At the same time, Azerbaijan did not put its full weight behind it. They could have thrown more men and included their full air force in this. This was a combination of political, psychological statement as well as testing their weapons and tactics. Including using UAVs.

      I hope to see Armenia put their tech industry into developing its home grown UAV field even further. As well as counter-measures to that Israeli suicide drone.

    • The whole point of Russia’s policy vis-a-vis Nagorno Karabakh is not to give either side a clear military edge over the other – because it wants both sides within its orbit. By keeping the status quo, it keeps both sides dependent on it. It therefore sells Baku what Baku wants, it gives Armenia what Armenia needs. It’s crisis management. That said, in reality, the Armenian side does have a military edge – its mountains. The Azeri sides havs to be ten times bigger to effectively fight us Armenians in our mountainous territory. We need to recognize that this is a very complex geopolitical matter and we need to approach it accordingly. That said, we are NOT doing ourselves any favors by flirting with NATO and whining about Russian arms sales to Baku from Western capitols. We need a different approach. We need concerted lobbying efforts in Moscow. Turks/Azeris lobby Russian officials regularly. We don’t. Our side is more concerned about getting Western aid (bribes).

  5. Dear Armenian Weekly,
    Hello. I would like someone in the know to clarify this. A friend who is in contact with people in Armenia said that the drones that were used to attack Armenians in Artsakh were operated by Israeli “experts.” Why in the hell are we looking to Israel to recognize the Armenian Genocide? If what I learned is correct, all Israel wants to do is make a buck and to hell with anybody else. Let’s not turn pathetic if we are looking to the Israelis for anything. They knew exactly what was happening in 1915 to our brethren but they were more interested in kissing up to the Turkish government to insure the creation of the future state of Israel. WAKE UP ARMENIANS! They are still kissing up to the Turks and the Azeris as they are their only friends in the neighborhood.
    In Unity,
    Ellen Sarkisian Chesnut

    • There are Israeli technicians and personal in Azerbaijan who have definitely been training the Azeris on the drones they’ve been selling them (some are assembled in Azerbaijan as well). But I don’t think it’s clear they were operating them in combat. If they were, that would just add more insult to injury.

      Israel gets 40% of its oil from the Azeris and they get to spy on Iran from Azerbaijan. So there is more to it than making a buck. But as you say, they don’t care if Armenians suffer in the process.

    • {There are Israeli technicians and personal in Azerbaijan who have definitely been training the Azeris on the drones they’ve been selling them.}

      And…?? Where is your “Thanks a lot Israel. You’re enabling Azerbaijan. In addition to that, Israel selling weapons to the Azeris gives them encouragement”?

  6. The major thing that I’m chagrined at in some commenters’ reaction to the issue of Russian arms sale to Azerbaijan is their unconcealed duplicity and bias. Jumping ahead a bit, I must say that I’m not happy with the fact, although knowing a thing or two about Russia, I can understand the geopolitical motives behind Russia’s actions.

    What infuriates me is that few to none commenters complain as much about the actions of other players in the South Caucasus region and in NK, as part of it.

    Random et al.,

    During the most recent meetings with Aliyev, top-ranking US administration officials—the vice-president and the secretary of state—expressed support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Earlier, the US representative to the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe said that the “occupied” territories of Azerbaijan must be returned to Azeri control.

    Europe, in the person of Pedro Agramunt, the Head of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, said that the conflict “continues for about 20 years with illegal occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions of Azerbaijan by Armenia” and that “this conflict and liberation of other Azerbaijani territories from occupation shall be resolved.”

    Turkey, Israel, Ukraine and other countries supply weapons, ammunition, military advisers and training to Azerbaijan. Some of these weapons were reportedly used by the Azeri military in the recent act of aggression, killing seven Armenian veteran volunteers in the bus heading to the frontline.

    You think that only Russia’s actions enable Azerbaijan and give them encouragement. Again, I’m saddened with Russia’s actions although I don’t see them as being directed against Armenia but, rather, as proceeding from Russia’s national interest not to radicalize Azerbaijan so this country, bordering Russia by the way, becomes another ISIS-type radical Muslim state.

    But why don’t we see many comments about the actions of the US, Europe, Israel, and Turkey that are enabling Azerbaijan and giving Aliyev’s regime encouragement?

    Why?

    Because you think the West is by default perfectly right?

    • This isn’t about being pro-West john. It’s because Russia has the biggest influence in this region. Even bigger than Turkey and the US, even with Turkish support. A big fat ‘NO!’ from Russia has more impact than any other player.

    • John,

      I am not surprised a bit at the response and actions that came from EU, USA, Israel, Ukraine and Turkey. Since when any of those countries have been remotely pro-Armenian? Since when they have supported us in any meaningful way? Most of us are accustomed to their total insensitivity, and that is why I am not questioning their actions. Russia, however has signed defense agreement with Armenia. Azeri’s have been shelling Armenia’s Tavush and Vardenis regions in addition to Karabakh and we have not heard a single word from Russia. I understand that they are trying to keep Azeris in their orbit, but they have totally abandoned Armenia.

    • It is obvious why, because of all the countries you mentioned only Russia is a strategic partner. Therefore, from Russia we expect partnership, not backstabbing.

    • Sassoon Kosian, the US government is selling weapons to the enemies of Israel—its strategic partner in the Middle East, namely, to: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. Paraphrasing a comment you’ve made in other thread: why don’t we hear the outrage against the US backstabbing of her strategic partner?

    • But Saudi Arabia is not attacking Israel, is it? There is not comparison between the two partnerships. The US practically guarantees Israel’s survival and military advantage over it’s neighbors by providing multi-billion dollar financial and military support every single year. Not to mention the political support and favoritism in the international arena. The US weapons sold to the Arab countries have not been a threat to Israel and have not been used against them. In theory the could be, but the US-Israel alliance has so far made sure it does not happen, and that I call a true alliance.
      Our situation is quite different, Russia intentionally or by negligence has made the balance to shift against us. We are not getting any support internationally. E.g. Armenia bent backwards and recognized the occupation and annexation of Crimea by Russia, antagonizing with Ukraine and the West. Did we get anything in return? Absolutely null. What we should have rightfully gotten in exchange was the recognition of NKR independence. That’s a terribly bad deal we have had with the Russians, a spineless diplomacy not fit for a winning country.

    • @John, We have legal agreements with Russia to guarantee Armenia’s security. We all understand why Russia is the way it is and most agree its wrong or detrimental to Armenia at the least.. Maybe as Armenians we need to act accordingly and stop the blind Mother Russia will protect us BS.

    • My point was not about making a comparison between the Russian-Armenian and US-Israeli partnerships. My point was about the hysteria in one case and the total lack of outrage in the other.

      No, Saudi Arabia is not attacking Israel, but for Saudi Arabia Israel is mortal enemy, which means that the Saudis won’t think twice if they’re given a chance.

      The US weapons sold to the Arab countries has, in fact, been a threat to Israel. During the Six-Day War in 1967 Jordan’s army was equipped entirely with American weaponry and her air force was composed entirely of aircraft from Britain, another Israel ally. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Jordan fought with entirely American weaponry, while other Arab countries: Egypt, Syria, and Iraq used also American M48 Patton tanks, as well as weapons from Israel’s other allies, namely: France’s Mirage V fighters, Panhard AML-90 armored cars, and Dassault Mirage 5 attack aircraft and Britain’s Hawker Hunter attack aircraft.

      And, I guess, the current multi-billion US arms sales to Israel’s enemies, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman, is done for exhibition in their museums only?

      By the way, Armenia recognized the reunification of the Crimea with Russia, which you myopically call “occupation and annexation” (see: unconstitutional transfer of the Crimea from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954) not to “bend backwards”, but in order to support the case of self-determination of nations similar to that of Nagorno-Karabagh’s.

    • @JOE,

      First, Russia has not violated her legal agreements to guarantee Armenia’s security. Artsakh, not the RoA, was subject to the recent large-scale Azeri attack.

      Second, my point is not about, as you say, “Mother Russia will protect us BS”, but about the lack of adequate criticism of countries, other than Russia, who supply weapons, ammunition, advisers and military training to Azerbaijan and support it both diplomatically and politically, as in the case of the US and Europe.

      AW just posted the article “Leading Jewish Scholar Condemns Israel’s Sale of Murderous Weapons to Azerbaijan”. Why don’t we see you, Random Armenian, Sassoon Kosian, Sella, GB, eastofwest, et al, criticizing the sale of Israeli weapons to Azerbaijan?

  7. The Russian Federation does not care what happens to Artsakh. Russia all along does not mind if Armenia loses Artsakh. The Armenian leadership should clarify to the Russians that Armenia indeed had options. If Russia’s policy is to see Artsakh under Azerbaijan occupation = it should equal = Russia is out of the Caucasus. The borders of NATO will reach Chechnya, Kabardino Balkar, Ingushetia, Daghestan, Turkmenistan. So be it. Bring NATO and the American influence. The destruction of the Russian Federation starts from the Caucasus (specifically Artsakh). Putin and his little boy Medvedev can go to hell,along with their stupid Federation.

    • You are making silly assumptions based on nothing but your personal suspicion. Russia does not want Armenia to lose Artsakh. If it did we would have already lost it. And no, the reality of the matter is that Armenia has NO alternatives to Russia.

  8. Everyone, please note that Russia did not say that it will continue concluding new contracts to sell weapons to Azerbaijan; it said only that it will honor existing contracts. These are two crucially different things.

    Also, I’ve heard that it is to Armenia’s advantage the weapons used against it are Russian, because Armenians know some of the codes for these weapons, as opposed to if the weapons came from Turkey. Can anyone confirm this?

    God bless the brave Armenian soldiers.

    • Alex,

      What do you mean by codes? What codes are these? Codes for remote access?

      If Armenia and Azerbaijan have the same types of weapons, then it’s a two way street. The Azeris know about our weapons. And on top of that, they have non-Russian weapons we are not familiar with, and unfortunately become familiar with in battle. As was the case of the Israeli Harop sucide uav.

    • No, Armenia does not know any of the codes, that’s just wishful thinking created out of thin air.

    • Good observation, Alex. Israeli supplied kamakazi drones and long range laser-guided anti-tank missiles did by far the most damage to the Armenian side during last week’s battle. That said, Moscow cannot stop dealing with Baku because Azerbaijan is very susceptible to completely falling into Turkish/Islamic camp.

    • What Alex implied was that Russian/Soviet weapons system Armenians are familiar with and thus can figure out countermeasures for them. This is essentially why other weapons systems in Azeri arsenal, like the Spike kamakazi drones and the Spike anti-tank missile, proved most damaging in this fight.

  9. If Russia is sole supplier of arms to both sides, it has some control if both sides continue to use violence. Don’t forget it was the US that gave the green light to Azerbaijan to start this violence, in the same way it gave the green light to Georgia over South Ossetia. Russia is trying to et both sides to sort things out peacefully, as it is no one’s interests (other than the US) for violence to spread near Russia’s borders. Armenia and Azerbaijan have to decide where they atand. Do they wish to be destroyed as pawns by sucking up to the US or do they wish to live in peace? Russia’s interests lie in have peaceful strong neighbours like Chechnya under Kadyrov. Armenia, Azerbaijan, you are pawns waiting to be destroyed by the US. It is your choice.

    • You might as well hop along and clap hands in wait for America and Europe to become our allies. Dream on!

  10. Once again, how infuriating it is that Armenia’s make-believe ally (Russia), who doesn’t even attempt to conceal its duplicity, is further continuing to backstab little Armenia by never once condemning Azerbaijan for its terrorist attacks against the Armenians, as well as never once objecting to Warlick’s idiotic statements in regard to “the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” being returned to Azeri control. And, even after that shameful four billion dollar sale of heavy military arms to Armenia’s mortal enemy (Azerbaijan), Sultan Aliyev will once again receive another massive supply of Russian military arms, for the purpose of killing more Armenians.

    It’s at least good that during his meeting with the Russian prime minister, Mr. Sargsyan pointed out that Azerbaijan had made full use of the weapons purchased from Russia, and that the Armenian public is offended by this. Unfortunately, as we all know by now, Russia could care less about what Armenia is offended by, nor does it care about all those Armenians being murdered as a result of Azerbaijan’s campaign of terrorism against the Republic of Artsakh.

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