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Hundreds in Yerevan Protest Russian Arms Sales to Azerbaijan

YEREVAN (A.W.)—Hundreds of activists took to the streets of Yerevan on April 13 to protest Russia’s sale of arms to Azerbaijan, reported several news outlets in Armenia.

Hundreds of activists took to the streets of Yerevan on April 13 to protest Russia’s sale of arms to Azerbaijan. (Photo: PanArmenian.net)

During the protest, activists demanded that Russia fulfill its obligations as Armenia’s de jure ally; that it respect the national interests and security of Armenia; and that it immediately stops selling weapons to Azerbaijan, according to Armenia’s News.am. Demonstrators chanted slogans such as “Sovereign Armenia” and “Free and independent Armenia” during the march from Yerevan’s Liberty Square to the Russian Embassy in Armenia.

During a visit to Baku on April 8, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that Moscow will continue to supply weapons to Azerbaijan, fulfilling an arms deal reached between the two countries. 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 Armenia’s Yerkir news service.

“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.

Demonstrators chanted slogans such as ‘Sovereign Armenia’ and ‘Free and independent Armenia’ during the march from Yerevan’s Liberty Square to the Russian Embassy in Armenia. (Photo: PanArmenian.net)

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

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 had 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.

Below is video footage from the protest.

50 Comments on Hundreds in Yerevan Protest Russian Arms Sales to Azerbaijan

  1. avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 14, 2016 at 11:35 am // Reply

    There is a fear that Russia, who is on paper Armenia’s only ally, may abandon us because citizens of Armenia make protests of this kind. That fear is an irrational fear lacks real basis.

    The only reason Russia is interested in Armenia is because it has its own selfish interests in doing so. Not for any other reason. And by the way, every other country or superpower behaves exactly the same way – they all pursue their own interests. These protests are not going to change that, and no, Russia is not going to get mad and abandon Armenia. Quite the contrary.

    These protests will remind Russia to not take our traditional strong pro-Russian sentiments take for granted. Remember what happened last summer when the Electric Yerevan protests happened. Russia actually feared of losing Armenia to the West with a scenario like Ukrainian Maidan. Despite the fact that this was not at all a pro-western or anti-Russian protest Russia was too sensitive and too fearful of losing Armenia. They rushed to Yerevan and offered $200M credit for a weapons deal. So the protests improved Armenia-Russia relationship. Russia needs Armenia as much as we need Russia, remember that! There are mutual interests in the alliance. It is only because of the spineless foreign policy conducted by the unelected Armenian authorities that have caused a deterioration of Armenia-Russia alliance. The protests by Armenian citizens are going to improve this alliance as they did last summer.

    • This is a much more BALANCED comment than the ones made in “Russia Will Continue to Supply Arms to Azerbaijan”. Also noted is that in the said article on Russian sales there are 38 comments, while in the article “Leading Jewish Scholar Condemns Israel’s Sale of Murderous Weapons to Azerbaijan”, there are only 9. Whereas, Israeli weapons proved most destructive in the recent fighting.

    • {the unelected Armenian authorities..}

      No: actually they _were_ elected, whether you like it or not.

      btw: where was the BarevaPresident hiding during the 4-day-war?
      Why weren’t they in Stepanakert main square with the veteran volunteers?
      Where were they hiding?
      The demagogue kneels down and fake-kisses the Armenian flag at every protest in safe Yerevan, but is nowhere to be found when there is real danger. He also avoided participating in the NKR war 1988-1994.

    • avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 17, 2016 at 11:27 pm //

      I am always for a pragmatic foreign policy. BTW, Israel offered to sell the same weapons to Armenia. Our genius leaders didn’t deem them to be worthy of the dollars that were asked… and they are still refusing to acknowledge it was mistake.

    • {BTW, Israel offered to sell the same weapons to Armenia. Our genius leaders didn’t deem them to be worthy of the dollars that were asked.}

      A link(s) to this statement, containing evidence, would be appreciated.

    • {Our genius leaders ….}

      Out real, genuine, ingenious leaders of NKR and RoA are the same people who are NKR war vets and led the men and women who defeated numerically and military-hardware superior Azerbaijan and 1,000s of Islamist terrorists, Afghan Muj, Chechen volunteers, Ukrainian mercenaries,…etc, etc.

      What is the military service record of your BarevaLeader?

    • avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 19, 2016 at 5:02 pm //

      [What is the military service record of your BarevaLeader?]

      He has never served in the military I don’t expect him to be of any value in the front line. As far as I know, he is in the US attending his sick parents.

      BTW, where were you? Were you in the frontline?

      [No: actually they _were_ elected, whether you like it or not.]
      There are tons of observer accounts of various types of fraud (vote bribing, ballot staffing, carousel, electoral commission bribing, intimidation, abuse of administrative resources, etc.), as well as statistical evidence, based on official reported data, that the 2013 presidential elections were largely fraudulent. Here is a gist of that analysis http://www.slideshare.net/skosian/statistical-analysis-of-electoral-fraud-presidential-elections-in-armenia-2013 that I happened to present to a group of Armenian audience. Anyone can claim whatever they want but numbers don’t lie. Serge Sargsyan is an impostor, he was not elected the first time, and not the second time. Yet he desires to stay in power till end of his lifetime.

    • avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 19, 2016 at 5:13 pm //

      Here are some non-Armenian analyses showing the 2013 presidential elections were fraudulent:

      Russian independent analyst
      http://romanik.livejournal.com/718556.html

      http://themonkeycage.org/2013/03/the-protesters-are-right-evidence-suggests-more-election-fraud-in-last-weeks-elections-in-armenia/

      And here is the detailed PFA (download the paper at the bottom of the page) http://www.pf-armenia.org/press-release/pfa-publishes-results-its-preliminary-analysis-presidential-election-armenia

    • avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 19, 2016 at 5:25 pm //

      [{BTW, Israel offered to sell the same weapons to Armenia. Our genius leaders didn’t deem them to be worthy of the dollars that were asked.}

      A link(s) to this statement, containing evidence, would be appreciated.]

      Here is an interview with the 1st Deputy Minister of Defence, David Tonoyan where is states Armenia chose not to buy Israeli weapons, in particular the kamikadze drones.
      http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/27666672.html

      We lost 14 tanks in 4 days, which is too many for Armenian armed forces given the past record from the first Artshak war. Israel is known to have supplied highly effective laser guided anti-tank missiles named SPIKE (if I am not mistaken) and it is widely suspected that our tank losses are due to that weapon. We don’t have that weapon or an equivalent though we have destroyed many more Azeri tanks (28?) but the point is – modern weapons SAVE LIVES. They are well worth the money!

    • {BTW, Israel offered to sell the same weapons to Armenia. Our genius leaders didn’t deem them to be worthy of the dollars that were asked.}

      I requested link with evidence to see if this sarcastic remark had a leg to stand on. But Tonoyan’s interview gives us an adequate background for the reason the RoA leaders chose not to buy Israeli UAVs and anti-tank missiles. Not because they “didn’t deem them to be worthy of the dollars that were asked”, but, in Tonoyan’s words, because there was no need for them as other solutions have been found to minimize the destructive effects of these weapons.

    • avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 23, 2016 at 8:31 pm //

      [ Not because they “didn’t deem them to be worthy of the dollars that were asked”, but, in Tonoyan’s words, because there was no need for them as other solutions have been found to minimize the destructive effects of these weapons.]

      That is not a satisfactory answer, especially if you believe that the Israeli weapons were so destructive. Tonoyan is an official, and Armenian officials never admit mistakes. But you, on the other hand, can’t have both sides of the argument, first claiming that Israeli weapons were so very destructive, and then claiming that we don’t need them because “other solutions have been found to minimize the destructive effects of these weapons”. If you believe that then why are you and other fellows here making so much noise about Israeli weapons?

    • Poster ‘Avery’ took words out of my mouth in his April 24, 2016 at 5:32 pm reply touching on this issue. Read it.

      Minimizing the effect of Israeli weapons by means of finding solutions other than drones doesn’t suggest that these weapons didn’t prove destructive in recent fighting. Because the key word is “minimizing”, and not “totally eliminating”.

  2. Russia needs to take a good look at its long term political needs and realise the value of a good neighbour and balance it with her short term commercial gains.
    We should try to develope our own weapons which are specific to our immediate needs. We Armenians are highly technical and able to adapt whatever we have to suit the new situation. There is plenty of expertse among our Armenian and diaspora compatriots. This will in the long run be the best step to take. Take a lesson from Israel.

  3. This is simply cash for whoever pays the hihest and whoever can afford. There is no morality to this. The Russians want just as much as israel and america. Nobody will stop supplying arms – it is a fact. Nobody really cares about human suffering, as long as they keep selling. This is the world. Minsk group or whatever group, it is all a waste of time. Look at that usless mob the UN, do they care? you must be kidding. Russia is supposed to be Armenia’s closest ally but CASH counts rather than human life. What a pity.

  4. (john // April 17, 2016 at 4:02 pm //)

    {Whereas, Israeli weapons proved most destructive in the recent fighting.}

    Right John:

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/INTELLIGENCE-The-odd-couple-451276
    {Another manifestation of how the alliance is prospering can be seen in the annual trade, which is $5 billion larger than between Israel and France. Most of the content remains confidential, and consists of Azeri oil sold to Israel and Israeli weapons and intelligence technologies purchased by Azerbaijan. }

    So it appears from figures provided by JPOST that aside from the publicly announced $1.6 billion sale of military hardware by Israel to Azerbaijan, Israel “sells” (barter) unknown $ billions of weapons and intelligence technologies to Azerbaijan under the table.

    Good thing Israel has no embassy in Yerevan.
    Otherwise 1,000s of Sorosa-protesters would be there.
    Sure they would.

    btw: that sign that says “Russian Occupation of Armenia”.
    The young lady, and all her male friends would be the first ones flying out of Yerevan, as soon as word was received that Turk armored columns have broken through Armenian defenses, and are racing towards Yerevan (…with Russian “occupation” troops having recently departed).

    • These youths carrying idiotic signs, such as “Russian Occupation of Armenia”… Not even knowing that it was Armenia that requested in the early 1990s that a Russian base be established and was most interested—given the war in Artsakh and threats from Turkey—in receiving the Russian arms. If tomorrow Russian “occupants” leave the country, your beloved Americans or Europeans will fly to help? Jesus Christ…

    • But Israel has an embassy in Tbilisi, capital of neighboring Georgia. It’s just 4.5 hr drive from Yerevan or just 45 min by air. Why don’t we see these Soros-funded youths’ protests in front of Embassy of Israel in Georgia with signs “Israeli Enmity with Armenia”?

  5. There is a thing called “geopolitics” that Armenians, due to their emotions, arrogance and politically illiteracy, almost always fail to properly understand. Allow me to therefore try to explain in as few words as possible.

    Oil rich Baku has the money to purchase anything it wants from whoever it wants. Yerevan does not have that luxury. Moscow wants to keep leverage over Yerevan and Baku, as well keep the military balance between the two. Moscow will therefore sell Baku what Baku wants and give Armenia what Armenia needs. Russian officials also know that if they do not sell arms to Baku, there are a number of nations – like Israel, Turkey, Ukraine and China – that will. In fact, Israeli-made weapons proved most destructive during the four day war. Moscow wants leverage over Baku. Moscow wants military parity in the region. Moreover, Moscow is trying hard to keep Baku within its orbit essentially because it does not want to see Azerbaijan turn into yet another hotbed of pan-Turkic and Islamic extremism right on its border. In the big picture, this is in Armenia’s long-term interests.

    Russia is not abandoning Armenia (or even Artsakh). Russia continues to be Armenia’s one and only ally. Russia continues to protect Armenia’s borders with Turkey, allowing Armenia to concentrate its resources its border with Azerbaijan. That Armenian officials are squandering the task of properly fortifying Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan by graft and embezzlement of financial resources is all together another topic of discussion. That said, if there are problems or flaws in Moscow geostrategic vision towards the region, Armenians need to stop throwing temper-tantrums like little emotional children and figure out a way to work with their Russian counterparts to fix the problems that may exist. Our leaders cannot do this by enabling Armenia’s Western operatives or by running off to Western capitols to complain about Moscow. Armenians need to embark upon a serious effort to lobby Russian officials. Armenians better realize that the Western world will never provide Armenia with the kind of security it need. Armenians better realize that the West can never be an alternative to Russia. Armenia will not survive the south Caucasus alone. Armenia therefore needs Russia. We as a people therefore need to wake-up and understand all this and figure out ways to more efficiently lobby Russian officials. In other words, we as a people have the desperate need to mature politically. I’m afraid maturing as a people may be a long and bumpy road for us Armenians. I just hope we don’t lose our statehood along the way.

    • avatar Random Armenian // April 20, 2016 at 12:48 am //

      “In fact, Israeli-made weapons proved most destructive during the four day war. ”

      I’d like to see a fact based breakdown and analysis to back up this statement. There is no doubt they are using Israeli weapons. But in this latest assault by Aliyev, they made heavy use of Russian bought weapons. Including the Smerch and Tos-1, which Armenia does not have.

      Although they used various Russian made weapons, they did not throw their full inventory. Such as more of Mi-25 helicopters and tanks. They did not use any of the Mig-29 and Su-25s (as far as I know). If they wanted a full and complete war, they would have used their Russian bought warplanes, which Israel does not sell any equivalents. And the artillery is also Russian as far as I understand.

      If they want to conquer Artsakh, they will have to use Russian made hardware on the ground and in the air. Israeli drones can only go so far.

      Those serving in Karabakh during the war showed incredible resolve and sacrifice. But they also need an edge over Azerbaijan to keep the threat at bay. And Russia is not going to give us an edge over Azerbaijan so they that there can be a balance. Armenia will need to produce that edge on her own. Either by acquiring it from other sources or developing home grown technology.

      On top of this, Artsakh lost 14 tanks vs 26 on the Azeri side. The Azeris can replenish their losses faster than Armenia. It’s my understanding that Russia still has hardware to deliver to Azerbaijan, based on the deal signed a few years ago.

    • {Artsakh lost 14 tanks vs. 26 on the Azeri side.}

      Right. Six of those 14 Artsakhi tanks were destroyed by Israeli wire-guided anti-tank missile systems Spike-LR. Just FYI…

    • Random Armenian,

      Truth is the first casualty of war. Of all the hundreds/thousands of photos and videos we have seen of the battles and their aftermaths, one cannot find a single shred of evidence confirming Azeris used their recently bought T-90 tanks, Mi-35 helicopters, Smerches or TOS-1s. Incidentally: The single helicopter that our troops shotdown was a Ukrainian/South African modified version of the old Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter.

      Our side reported that newly supplied Russian weapons systems were used by Azeris. To date, not a single photo to forensic evidence has been provided to show that they were actually used in combat. I bring this up because it was widely known that Russia sold those arms to Baku under an agreement with Azeris that they would not be used against Artsakh. I am not putting it past Baku to go back on their word to Moscow, but I have not seen any evidence (thus far) that the weapons in question were actually used. I suspect Armenian officials put out the reports to put pressure on Moscow.

      Moreover, our side knocked out one (maybe two) Azeri tank during the clashes. So, we again see our side stretching to truth a bit. Soviet era Grad missiles and Israeli made kamikaze drones and long-range anti-tank missiles did the most damage to our side. But all this is a moot point. What we need to recognize is that Moscow will do everything in its power to keep Baku from drifting away from its orbit. For Moscow, the alternative to cutting off relations with Baku is an Azerbaijan that is operational base for pan-Turkists and Islamists. In fact, it is also in our interests for Moscow to have some leverage over Baku. When Armenians, in particular our incompetent leaders, better understand this, they will better navigate through the perils of superpower politics.

      Closing point: Russians have GIVEN Armenia many billions of dollars worth of weaponry during the past 25 years, as Armenians (including our military officials) have been ROBBING Armenia of billions of dollars during the past 25 years – and hiding their money in Western banks. Russian officials know all this, and they don’t like it one bit. Russians are covering our western border to keep Turks and NATO out of their vulnerable under belly, we can at least act like a real nation and properly cover our more manageable eastern border with Azerbaijan. The reason why Artsakh’s border defenses lack modern monitoring devices is Armenian corruption and incompetence. I am no fan of the government in Yerevan. But they are the lesser of evils. Had the alternative to our corrupt and incompetent leadership today not been Armenia’s Western-financed mercenaries, I would be calling for a coup in Armenia on a daily basis.

    • avatar Random Armenian // April 24, 2016 at 8:18 pm //

      john,

      There were reports of Israeli missile shipments to the Azeris 2 days before the Azeri attacks. I follow the military sales to both Armenia and Azerbaijan and I Israel has been selling anti-tank weaponry to Azerbaijan. They also have factories assembling military off-road vehicles and drones.

      But in the end you need tanks and air power to ultimately take over Artsakh.

      Do you have good references on how the Armenian tanks were lost? I’m trying my best to judge how accurate the sources I’m reading are. Several Armenian sources mentioned 14 tanks lost so I figure that’s probably accurate.

    • avatar Random Armenian // April 24, 2016 at 8:49 pm //

      Hrutik,

      Maybe you missed the photos form Artsakh of used Smerch missiles on the ground. Or are you saying Artsakh military planted those?

      It’s completely possible that the Artsakh military leaders may exaggerate for phych warfare against the Azeris and to Artsakh and Armenia that they’re being effective (which in the end they were).

      Occasionally there were claims of hundreds and even 2000 Azeri dead. That definitely sounded like an exaggeration. Then again the Azeri side would be interested in understating their losses as well.

      So you’re saying the Artsakh forces only destroyed 1 or 2 Azeri tanks? That’s quite an accusation? How do you know this? Did you mean helicopters instead of tanks? One crashed in Artsakh and I read somewhere that the second one may have been damaged and crashed on the Azeri side.

      “What we need to recognize is that Moscow will do everything in its power to keep Baku from drifting away from its orbit.”

      That’s what concerns me. How far will Moscow go in the future at the expense of Artsakh?

    • {Do you have good references on how the Armenian tanks were lost?}

      Yes, I do. There’s no prize for guessing from my comments that I ever preach to the wind.

      That said, we haven’t seen your expression of thanks to Israel for enabling Azerbaijan and selling weapons to the Azeris thus giving them encouragement, similar to the thanks you’ve extended to Russia in “Russia Will Continue to Supply Arms to Azerbaijan”.

      This only gives added credence to the belief that you’re not an unbiased poster.

    • Random,

      The unexploded rockets seen in photos look like an older version of the Smerch that Azeri military has had for ten years now. [Plus, it’s weird that so many of them supposedly didn’t explode.] Or, bits and pieces of the rockets in question may have been planted by the Armenian military purely for PR effect, perhaps with the intention of putting pressure on Moscow. Anyway, we have seen literally hundreds of photos/videos of a couple of dozen dead Azeris and the one helicopter we shotdown. We also have photo/video evidence of several destroyed Armenian tanks. Now, if we destroyed more than two dozen attacking Azeri tanks, at least some of their remains would have been seen on the battlefield and we would have had all kinds of photos and videos of them. None exist. To date, there is no evidence that Azeris used their recently acquired Russian made weapons systems. To date, there is no evidence that we destroyed more than one or two Azeris tanks. If interested, the following Russian site keeps a tally on confirmed loses of military hardware during the war (click show button): http://lostarmour.info/karabakh/

    • Regarding Artsakh: Moscow is playing a very sophisticated balancing act: Moscow needs Artsakh was a sledgehammer hanging over Azeri heads, but it also needs Baku within its orbit to stop Azerbaijan from drifting into the Turkic/Islamic camp. Moscow will NEVER try to force Armenians out of NKR proper. That said, it may however at one point in the future put pressure on Yerevan to pullback from some of the “several territories” taken outside of NKR proper.

    • avatar Yerevanian // April 27, 2016 at 6:56 am //

      “To date, there is no evidence that Azeris used their recently acquired Russian made weapons systems.”

      It’s really astonishing how our denialist Russian nationalist guest is continuing his sky-high level of desperation to falsely establish that the Azerbaijanis have not used Russian military arms against the Armenians. So, you’re absurdly trying to tell us that the president of Armenia (who happens to be pro-Russian) is lying when he informed the Russian prime minister that “Azerbaijan had made full use of the weapons purchased from Russia”?

      “To date, there is no evidence that we destroyed more than one or two Azeri tanks.”

      Only one or two Azeri tanks were destroyed? That’s exactly what Hyena Aliyev was saying in a desperate attempt to minimize the heavy military personnel losses that were inflicted upon him by the NKR defense army.

      Are you trying to say that Victor Arustamyan (Chief of the Operation Division of the NKR defense army) lied when he stated on April 5th, “NKR forces lost 14 tanks, while Azerbaijan lost 24”?

      “But it (Russia) also needs Baku within its orbit to stop Azerbaijan from drifting into the Turkic/Islamic camp.”

      Actually, Azerbaijan is already deeply united with the Islamic terrorist state of Turkey. What did you expect? After all, the two are Turk brothers. In fact, their motto happens to be “One nation, two states.”

    • avatar Random Armenian // May 14, 2016 at 1:03 am //

      john: “This only gives added credence to the belief that you’re not an unbiased poster.”

      Harutik is the one accusing the Karabakh and Armenian authorities of lying to all of us about Azeri losses and you’re accusing me of this?

      Azerbaijan will not be able to take Artsakh on Israeli weapons alone.

      It seems that Armenia gets Russian weaponry after Azerbaijan acquires them and thus has more time to be familiar with them.

      Also, Russia transferred T-72 tanks to Azerbaijan before the deal to sell 100 T-90 tanks years later. And Russia offered to modernize the Azeri T-72 tanks.

      http://asbarez.com/126920/russian-arms-broker-offers-more-deals-to-azerbaijan/
      So at this point if the Azeris use tanks, they are tanks from Russia, T-72 or T-90.

      And according to that article, Russia is open to selling the advanced Ka-52 attack helicopters, in addition to the Mi-35 it has already sold. I don’t know what the state of the Ka-52 sales is, but I would not be surprised if it happens.

      Harutik, as for your comments on the corruption in the current Armenian leadership, I agree. The best we have right now can and should be better. The corruption has a bigger impact on Armenia than it does on Russia. There has been more noises about corruption and it’s impact on Armenian military effectiveness. I hope it leads to a better place.

  6. In the geopolitical context of Russia’s wider—Middle Eastern, European, and Central Asian—neighborhood, there are several hot spots of tension in addition to the NK conflict in the South Caucasus, these being:

    (1) Eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Basin (Donbass),
    (2) Transdniestria region on the eastern Moldovan border with Ukraine, and
    (3) a host of trouble areas in Central Asia:
    a. the Fergana valley that spreads across Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan,
    b. the Batken and Osh regions of Kyrgyzstan,
    c. the Zarafshan valley of Tajikistan,
    d. the Pamir Mountains region, and, of course,
    e. the Turkmen-Afghan border.

    Add to this Russia’s military presence in Syria and tensions with Turkey, and we’ll have, in sum, several potentially explosive areas along—or adjacent to—Russia’s borders. For Russia, one way to deal with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is to maintain the balance of power between Armenia and Azerbaijan so the conflict won’t spill over onto the greater Middle Eastern region.

  7. If push comes to shove Russia will be there for Armenia. We know that. they won’t let Armenia be swallowed up by the turkic hoards. Because that would eliminate them from the region. I think Iran and Georgia, for that matter, would also be on Armenia’s side if a regional war broke out, for similar reasons. We are not the only ones aware of the turkic menace.

    • avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 20, 2016 at 2:27 am //

      There are different degrees of this. Russia will not “let Armenia vanish from the world map”, is very different from “Russia will perform it’s treaty obligations and commit military support at the first sign of aggression against Armenia”. We don’t want to find ourselves in a large scale devastating war when Armenia is devastated and suppose for the arguments sake that we are loosing the war then only Russia comes to our rescue.

    • Sassoun,

      Do you actually know anything about the treaty you are referring to? The treaty covers Armenia, not Artsakh. The treaty is meant to come into force when Armenia is in danger and when Yerevan officially requests military intervention from Russia. Also, Russia covers Armenia’s western border with Turkey, giving Yerevan the freedom to concentrate all its resources on protecting Armenia’s eastern border with Azerbaijan. Now, can you stop expecting or demanding that Russians spoon feed us all the time. People like you constantly demand “freedom” from Russia, but when things get dangerous in the neighborhood, you expect Russia to come running to the rescue? Please make up your mind and have some self-respect. That said, Russia is and will remain Armenia’s only ally. And thank God for that because Armenia wouldn’t survive long in the south Caucasus without Russia.

    • avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 25, 2016 at 12:02 am //

      Harutik, I actually answered you in another thread…

  8. avatar Yerevanian // April 19, 2016 at 6:35 am // Reply

    “What is the military service record of your BarevaLeader?”

    And what makes you foolishly believe that whoever disapproves of your beloved hero (Serzh Sargsyan) is therefore a supporter of Raffi Hovannisian? Where’s the connection between one and the other? And, as usual, you’ve never been able to comprehend that just because a person did not serve in the military, does not in any particular way show that he or she is not capable of being a good leader.

    In terms of Armenia’s unelected leader (Mr. Sargsyan) having been a leader in the 1990’s Artsakh War, that’s absolute crap. He may have been a participant in that war, but he certainly was nothing close to being a leader. In fact, his fellow soldiers from that war (Artsakh War Veterans), happen to have an intense dislike for Mr. Sargsyan, and are opposed to him in every which way.

    “Israeli weapons proved most destructive in the recent fighting.”

    It’s really unbelievable how you same three people will desperately go to any length to minimize the wrongs committed by your beloved Russia against Armenia and Artsakh. Nice try in deliberately leaving out the destructive heavy Russian military arms that were used in killing and wounding many Armenians in the recent fighting. As a matter of fact, when meeting with the Russian Prime Minister, Mr. Sargsyan “stressed that Azerbaijan had made full use of the weapons purchased from Russia.”

    And, nice try in your desperate attempt to establish that the Israeli sale of military equipment to Azerbaijan was a lot more than 1.6 billion dollars (you obviously did this to suggest that the Israeli arms sale was more than the Russian arms sale). “Another manifestation of how the alliance is prospering can be seen in the annual trade, which is $5 billion larger than between Israel and France. Most of the content remains confidential, and consists of Azeri oil sold to Israel and Israeli weapons and intelligence technologies purchased by Azerbaijan.” This does not show in any particular way that Israel “sells unknown $ billions of weapons to Azerbaijan under the table.” Anyway, on the subject of doing business under the table, Russia most certainly does an enormous amount of that.

    “These youths carrying idiotic signs, such as ‘Russian Occupation of Armenia’…”

    Yes, that was a rather idiotic idea for that young lady to exhibit that sign. On the other hand, it’s also rather idiotic to make the statement of “If tomorrow Russian ‘occupants’ leave the country.” Yeah right! And why would Russia ever desire to pull out its military “occupants” from Armenia, when they happen to be sitting right next to NATO’s Middle East headquarters (Turkey)? And even if Mr. Sargsyan were to order the Russians to pull out tomorrow, they would never accept. The truth of the matter is that the Russians don’t look at Armenia as being a sovereign country; instead, they look at Armenia as being their southern border (therefore, from that standpoint, you can’t blame that young lady for exhibiting that sign). Once again, Armenia’s make-believe ally (Russia) is certainly not on Armenia’s soil because it cares about the safety of Armenia’s citizens; on the contrary, it’s only there to maintain its interests in that particular region.

    • {Russia is certainly not on Armenia’s soil because it cares about the safety of Armenia’s citizens; it’s only there to maintain its interests in that particular region.}

      What astute, mind-blowing observation… And United States military bases in Japan, Italy, Germany, Kuwait, Israel, South Korea, and Kosovo are on these countries’ soil not to maintain American interests, but to admire the overpowering beauty of Japanese, German, Kuwaiti, Jewish, Korean and Kosovan eyes…

    • avatar Yerevanian // April 24, 2016 at 2:33 am //

      “And United States military bases in Japan, Italy, Kuwait, Israel, South Korea, and Kosovo are on these countries’ soil not to maintain American interests, but to admire the overpowering beauty of Japanese, German, Kuwaiti, Jewish, Korean, and Kosovan eyes…”

      Well, this particular observation indeed sounds very silly. But anyway, it’s always a joy to observe how infuriated you become whenever any kind of rightful criticism is given towards Russia.

  9. Israeli security and intelligence specialist Yossi Melman says that Israel has a massive, but highly secretive, defense footprint in Azerbaijan. In his analysis for The Jerusalem Post, Melman explained that Israel and Azerbaijan enjoy annual trade which is “$5 billion larger than between Israel and France.” From modest beginnings in the early 1990s, Azerbaijan has grown to become “the second-biggest market in Asia, after India, for Israeli weapons,” with Israeli defense companies enjoying literally billions of dollars in sales in the Caucasian state. In addition to military ties, Melman notes that the two countries also have strong intelligence ties, with Mossad given permission to set up a large station in Azerbaijan, taking advantage of the region’s geography to run operations throughout the North Caucasus. According to French intelligence newsletter “Intelligence Online”, in addition to drones, Israel also provides Baku with advanced radar systems, control and command posts, and other intelligence-collection equipment, and has even entered a bid to provide Baku with a $150 million observation satellite.

    Source: Sputnik International, http://sputniknews.com/military/20160417/1038168379/karabakh-israel-role-analysis.html

  10. “Israel is a major arms supplier to Azerbaijan, and the states signed deals worth some $5 billion in recent years according to reports.” — Zehava Gal-on, leader of social-democratic Zionist party Meretz, in her letter of protest sent to Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon.

    Source: Haaretz newspaper

  11. avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 20, 2016 at 2:33 am // Reply

    I don’t know if this source has been shared, I don’t seem to find the Israel weapons sale related article https://www.bellingcat.com/news/rest-of-world/2015/05/04/azerbaijan-and-israels-aerospace-industry-a-worrying-concern-for-armenia-or-iran/#_ftn4

    This article was written one year ago. The Azeri advances in sophisticated weaponry and defense systems were clearly known before, but not much was done by Armenia’s leadership to counter balance. Of course, budget is the issue. Because of the corrupt, oligarchic system in Armenia, the rich do not pay their fair share of taxes to the budget, and whatever enters the budget is plundered by the ruling elite. Can anyone see the clear link between the Armenian corrupt regime and the 4-day war and it’s high casualties?

  12. avatar Yerevanian // April 20, 2016 at 4:28 am // Reply

    “In his analysis for The Jerusalem Post, Melman explained that Israel and Azerbaijan enjoy annual trade which is ‘$5 billion larger than between Israel and France.'”

    This still doesn’t show that the Israeli arms deal to Azerbaijan happened to be more than the reported 1.6 billion dollar deal.

    “Israel is a major arms supplier to Azerbaijan, and the states signed deals worth some $5 billion in recent years according to reports.”

    Well, where are these reports? Why hasn’t Zehava Gal-on shown these reports to the public to confirm her claim? If she doesn’t show any kind of report to prove her claim, then her above statement is nothing more than an unproven claim.

    Last year, I happened to engage into a discussion with two Russian political scientists from Moscow, who surprisingly told me that the Russian arms deal to Azerbaijan was actually a nine billion dollar deal, as opposed to the reported four billion dollar deal. However, when I asked them for some kind of report that would confirm their claims, they had nothing to show.

  13. (Sassoon Kosian // April 19, 2016 at 5:02 pm //)
    (Sassoon Kosian // April 19, 2016 at 5:13 pm //)

    {He has never served in the military I don’t expect him to be of any value in the front line.}

    Why hasn’t he?
    He was in his early 30s during the NKR war. Yet he assiduously avoided the military. His 4 strapping sons have assiduously avoided military service.

    {BTW, where were you? Were you in the frontline?}

    A non sequitur: unlike Mr. Hovanissian who daily insults the war veteran President of RoA and is advocating for war, I am not.
    And I am not running for the office of President of RoA, Commander in Chief of Armed Forces of RoA.

    {Serge Sargsyan is an impostor, he was not elected the first time, and not the second time….)

    Repeating the BarevaLoser’s irrational mantra will not change facts.
    And all the so called “impartial” analysis of elections in RoA have debunked.
    I already proved in another thread that your so-called “independent observers” source was in fact funded by Open Society, aka George Soros(e.g. http://transparency.am/hy/about/donors).

    Yeah, sure all those non-Armenian “analysis” by someone or other on the web “prove” the elections were allegedly “fraudulent”.
    1,000s of observers from several countries and organizations were there: not on the web. They say otherwise.
    OSCE was there.
    [YEREVAN, 19 February 2013 “Having been in the country for six weeks, we can say that candidates were able to campaign freely and fundamental freedoms were respected. Overall, the election was administered in a professional manner and real efforts were made by the authorities to improve the quality of the voter lists. The media covered all candidates in a rather balanced manner, but that coverage would have benefitted from more critical analysis and debates between candidates,” said Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, the Head of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) long-term election observation mission] (source OSCE.org)

    • avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 23, 2016 at 9:13 pm //

      You are obviously engaged in propaganda and spreading lies to defend an impostor. But the numbers, on the other hand, don’t lie. The statistical analysis that I presented and you conveniently ignored is based on the official numbers. It doesn’t matter who does the analysis, someone on the web or the moon, it is statistics and tells you the story that the elections were very fraudulent. Anyone else could arrive to the same conclusion using the same official data.

      You also make the same weak argument as before regarding the Observer Mission report on the referendum of 2015. Without reading and understanding the report (which of course is not necessary for a propagandist) you point out that Transparency International was sponsored by OSI. You conveniently and dishonestly ignore the fact which I had pointed before, that OSI is only one of 30 sponsor organizations of Transparency International. And Transparency International is only one of four organizations that were involved in the observer mission. Your argument is really laughable and the only thing you proved is that you support electoral fraud and are engaged in propaganda.

      As to European observer mission, they didn’t see any of the vote bribing, didn’t take into account any of ridiculous reports where 90% of a village votes for Serge Sargsyan where it is known that half of the village has emigrated to Russia because of Sergik’s economic policies. Another widely believed factor was that Sergik had promised the Europeans to sign the association agreement because of which they chose to look the other way.

      The most compelling statistical evidence of electoral fraud is that in locations where there was scrutiny by citizens and journalists the voter turnout was around 50-60% and Raffi Hovhannisyan received moderately more votes than Serge Sargsyan. On the other hand, in remote locations where there was not much scrutiny the voter turnout was very high (even reached 100% in some locations!) and Serge got more votes. In many cases they managed to bribe or intimidate opposition observers and manipulated the numbers (see digit tests in the statistical analysis that I presented). Of course, I know that Avery is not going to read any of the analysis. This is for those who want to know what happened. In fact, the European observers later issued another statement expressing concern for locations with unusually high voter turnout.

    • {You are obviously engaged in propaganda and spreading lies to defend an impostor. }

      No: I am obviously engaged in factually debunking SorosaPropaganda and countering the spread of lies by followers of the demagogic BarevaLoser.

      Again: I already proved in another thread that your so-called “independent observers” source was in fact funded by Open Society, aka George Soros(e.g. http://transparency.am/hy/about/donors).
      And I presented evidence that Soros himself admitted his Open Society operatives were deeply involved in Maidan. The bloody and tragic after-effects of the Soros funded Neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine require no further comment.

    • avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 25, 2016 at 12:10 am //

      Avery – a very dishonest “answer” ignoring my arguments and pushing your “heroic” propaganda, but I am not surprised any more.

      I challenge everyone who believes Serge Sargsyan is legitimate to challenge the statistical analysis that I shared. Serge Sargsyan is an unelected impostor, and the analysis is ample evidence to that, based on his own official data! The same can be said about the 2015 constitutional referendum which was an even bigger disgrace, the sole purpose of which was to continue the power of Sergik Sargsyan.

  14. avatar Sassoon Kosian // April 23, 2016 at 9:48 pm // Reply

    [A non sequitur: unlike Mr. Hovanissian who daily insults the war veteran President of RoA and is advocating for war, I am not.
    And I am not running for the office of President of RoA, Commander in Chief of Armed Forces of RoA.]

    Another weak argument. Armenian law does not require presidential candidates to have served in the army. While you are entitled to your opinion that Raffi should have served in the army, it is only your opinion, the people of Armenia didn’t think so when they voted for Raffi Hovhannisian. Likewise, women and people with disabilities do not typically serve in the army but they are fully entitled to be elected as president/commander in chief…

  15. avatar Yerevanian // April 24, 2016 at 3:07 am // Reply

    “He (Raffi Hovannisian) was in his early 30’s during the NKR war. Yet he assiduously avoided the military.”

    During the time of the NKR war, Raffi Hovannisian was in the beginning stage of his political career. He served as the Yerevan director for the Armenian Assembly of America, and then he would serve as the first Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia.

    OSCE? You’re actually using a statement made by OSCE to try and establish that Serzh Sargsyan won the 2013 election without fraud? This is the same crooked, rogue organization that fully supports Hyena Aliyev and assiduously refuses to condemn him for his campaign of brutal terrorism directed at Armenia and Artsakh. Anyway, OSCE along with the West desired for Mr. Sargsyan (as opposed to Mr. Hovannisian) to be the president of Armenia for one simple reason; and that simple reason happened to be the Armenia-Turkey protocols which Mr. Sargsyan was firmly in support of, as opposed to Mr. Hovannisian who was firmly against it.

    Contrary to that untrue statement made by OSCE, thousands of witnesses observed how Sargsyan’s crew of thugs (by the way, these guys along with Serzh, all happen to have mafia-style nicknames) rigged those elections, and in the process, threatened many of the voters (especially in the villages), and coerced them into voting for Serzh.

  16. John:

    Trying to argue Israeli weapons with someone who suggests that NATO could replace Russia as guarantor against NATO member Turkey invading RoA is a dead end. (….NATO sure stopped their Turk member from invading Cyprus 40 years ago, didn’t it? In fact US and UK gave the green light for the invasion).

    As to the Israeli offer to sell military hardware to Armenia:

    The cynical “offer” was made precisely so that after Israeli weapons were used to kill and murder Armenians, they would use it to deflect criticism.
    Israelis knew full well that even if RoA had the funds, it could not possibly buy any military hardware from Israel.
    That state has murdered sailors of its greatest benefactor, US. (USS Liberty)
    That state has spied on its greatest benefactor, US: Pollard.
    That state has sold US developed military technology that was given to Israel to US’s geostrategic rival – China.
    The list of treachery of the State of Israel is very, very long.
    Nobody in Armenian government forgets that Israeli military experts were in Azerbaijan during 1991-1994, helping Caucasus Turks to attempt to commit genocide of Armenians.
    Nobody in Armenia forgets that Israel is working hand-in-glove with Turkey and Azerbaijan in the worldwide Turkic AG Denial campaign.

    So lets see:
    -Armenia buys some Harops from Israel.
    -Israeli technicians have to come to Armenia to train Armenian operators.
    -Of course they would not spy on Armenians’ military positions and other secrets and pass them on to Azerbaijan, which supplies Israel with 40% of its oil: of course not.
    -Of course they would not modify the Harops to send intelligence to Azerbaijan during a war. Or maybe malfunction.

    Tonoyan gave an excellent, diplomatic answer to the bogus Israeli “offer”. Actually a genius answer.

    • {Trying to argue Israeli weapons with someone who suggests that NATO could replace Russia as guarantor against NATO member Turkey invading RoA is a dead end.}

      I think when it is suggested–myopically–that NATO becomes Armenia’s strategic ally, two major things are meant or hoped for. First, obviously, that Russia withdraws her bases from and stops arms deliveries to RoA. Second, that if both Armenia and Turkey, as well as Azerbaijan, are NATO member-states, their common membership can defuse—so they think—a hot spot or two, including NK, in the South Caucasus region.

      This is typical rigid Western politico-military thinking. It makes no reckoning whatsoever of Armenia’s interests, in that the RoA is not only the recipient of Russian arms and security guarantees, but also the recipient of Russian oil, natural gas, and nuclear fuel, and exporter of products to Russian, and now EAEU, markets. Supposing Russia is gone and NATO replaced it invoking Article 5 that binds NATO members together, committing them to protect each other. What are the guarantees that, just like in 1974 in Cyprus, Turkey or Azerbaijan won’t invade NK as a result of disputes between NATO member Azerbaijan (supported by NATO member Turkey) and NATO member Armenia? Second, if NATO replaces Russia, what are the guarantees that one or several of its member-states will be supplying Armenia with oil, natural gas, and nuclear fuel? What NATO country(ies) is a possible candidate to becoming such a supplier?

      Another thing to consider is if, supposedly, Armenia and Azerbaijan join the Alliance and become member states just like Turkey, how will NATO leadership handle the conflict in NK and address–inevitably–the issue of genocide recognition and land reparation of Armenian lands in Turkey? If all three entities become parts of the same military alliance, I have no doubt in my mind that it’ll be to the detriment of the weakest entity (in terms of geographical position and resource endowment), in this case, RoA and NK.

      Besides, when was the last time—or any time, for that matter—that NATO offered to step into the region extending full membership to a regional country? The only case was the 2011 NATO statement designating Georgia as an “aspirant country”. Need I remind what happened in Georgia afterwards? Another case, outside the region, was Ukraine. In 2008 Ukraine submitted application to join the NATO Membership Action Plan. Need I remind what happened in Ukraine afterwards?

    • Correction: In the case of Georgia, I meant the 2008 Bucharest summit where NATO members promised that Georgia would eventually join the organization, and not the 2011 NATO statement designating Georgia as an “aspirant country”.

  17. avatar Yerevanian // April 25, 2016 at 6:12 am // Reply

    “Of course, they (Israel) would not spy on Armenians’ military positions and other secrets and pass them on to Azerbaijan.”

    And, as usual, you left out Russia. Hey, if Israel would have the ability to do all of the above, then Russia most certainly has the ability to reveal Armenia’s military secrets to Azerbaijan. After selling four billion dollars worth of heavy military arms to Hyena Aliyev, the Russians would certainly have no problem selling him Armenia’s military secrets.

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