Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu (L) meets with his Armenian counterpart Davit Tonoyan, Moscow, August 17. 2019

Armenian Military Reports ‘Important’ Agreements With Moscow


MOSCOW (RFE/RL) — Defense Ministers Sergey Shoygu of Russia and Davit Tonoyan of Armenia agreed on fresh arms deals at their latest talks held in Moscow, the Armenian Defense Ministry indicated on Sunday, August 18.

The ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisyan, said they discussed, among other things, Russian-Armenian “military-technical cooperation,” an official euphemism for arms production and supplies.

“Davit Tonoyan and Sergey Shoygu reached a number of important agreements on the implementation of bilateral military-political, military and military-technical programs,” Hovannisyan wrote on his Facebook page. He did not give any details of those understandings.

Hovannisyan said the two ministers also agreed on the importance of continuing joint actions by their armed forces and “reinforcing the combat readiness” of Russian troops stationed in Armenia.

A statement by the Russian Defense Ministry likewise said “joint projects of military and military-technical cooperation” were on the agenda of Saturday’s talks but did not elaborate. It quoted as Shoygu noting “the strategic level of relations” between the Russian and Armenian militaries.

The Russian minister also praised more than 80 Armenian demining experts, army medics and other non-combat military personnel serving in Syria in close coordination with the Russian military.

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Russian and Armenian defense officials signed unpublicized agreements on fresh Russian arms supplies to Armenian at the end of a five-day session of a joint commission on “military-technical cooperation” held in Yerevan in early June.

The session began four days after the head of Russia’s Rosoboronexport state arms exporter, Alexander Mikheyev, visited Yerevan and met with Tonoyan. The two men also held talks in Moscow in late April. Tonoyan said afterwards that Armenia will continue to acquire Russian weapons “very vigorously.”

In February, Yerevan confirmed the signing of a Russian-Armenian contract for the purchase of four Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets to the Armenian Air Force. The multirole jets are due to be delivered by the beginning of 2020. The Armenian Defense Ministry plans to buy more such Russian warplanes in the following years.

Russia has long been the principle supplier of weapons and other military equipment to the Armenian army.

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