YEREVAN—Armenian and Russian officials announced on Thursday the ratification of a $100 million loan that the Armenian government will use toward purchasing modern arms from Russia.
The terms of the agreement require Armenia to repay the loan within a period of 20 years (five of which are a grace period), with a three percent annual interest rate.
The Armenian government has not yet disclosed which types of Russian-made military hardware will be purchased. During a news conference last week, Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan said he does not wish to disclose the list of weapons because doing so would provide valuable intelligence to the enemy, and instead prefers to showcase the new catalog of weapons during the country’s military parades.
These arms loans have attracted Armenia in the past. A similar loan was ratified two years ago, in June 2015, the major difference being that Russia made explicit the types of weapons that could be purchased under the agreement. That list included Smerch multiple-launch rocket system, TOS-1A thermobaric rockets, anti-tank weapons and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles.
Armenia is not the only benefactor of Russian arms deals. Moscow has received criticism for selling billions of dollars worth of heavy weapons to Azerbaijan in the past several years.