By Emil Danielyan
Belarus’s Defense Minister Leonid Maltsev reportedly reaffirmed his country’s interest in “mutually beneficial” military cooperation with Armenia at the start of a two-day visit to Yerevan on Monday.
Maltsev met with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian and President Robert Kocharian and visited Armenia’s main military academy. A statement by Kocharian’s office quoted him as praising the “complete mutual understanding” between the two former Soviet republics aligned in the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenian-Belarusian military ties have “serious potential” and must be deepened, he said.
“The president of the republic noted with satisfaction the effective cooperation between the defense agencies of the two countries and expressed confidence that it will continue,” Kocharian’s press service said in a statement. The statement said the two sides also discussed “prospects for deepening” military-technical cooperation between their militaries but gave no further details.
That cooperation was also discussed during a separate meeting between Maltsev and Sarkisian. The two men signed a plan of joint defense-related activities for next year later in the day.
Armenia and Belarus are bound by bilateral agreements that allow for mutual arms supplies. The Armenian army, according to some press reports, has already received military hardware from the East European nation whose authoritarian government has been ostracized by the West.
(Photolur photo: Leonid Maltsev.)