Armenia will purchase soon more Russian-made weapons with a $200 million loan that has been provided to it by the Russian government, it emerged on Friday.
President Serzh Sarkisian said that the disbursement of the “concessional export loan” was formalized at a meeting of a Russian-Armenian intergovernmental commission on bilateral cooperation that took place in Yerevan earlier in the day.
Sarkisian told the Russian co-chair of the commission, Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov, that the funding will enable Armenia’s armed forces to “considerably expand the assortment of modern weaponry in their arsenal.” A statement by his office did not specify what type of new military equipment will be purchased for them.
Sarkisian’s announcement came less than two weeks after Armenia’s top military official in charge of arms procurements flew to Moscow for talks with representatives of Russia’s Defense Ministry and state intermediary agency for arms exports. The Armenian Defense Ministry said the official, Alik Mirzabekian, will discuss with them “supplies of products designed for military use.”
Russia has long been the principal source of weapons delivered to Armenia. A military alliance with Moscow and membership in the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) entitles Yerevan to receiving Russian-made weapons at discounted prices or even free of charge.