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Armenian Minister Meets Russian Defense Industry Executives


RUSSIA -- Vehicles are parked near the office building of Rosoboronexport company in Moscow, March 1, 2016

Armenia’s Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan met with two top executives of Russia’s state-owned defense industry in Moscow on Monday.

The Armenian Defense Ministry reported few details of Tonoyan’s talks with Sergey Chemezov, the director general of Rostec industrial conglomerate, and Aleksandr Mikheyev, the chief executive of the Rosoboronexport arms exporter.

In a short statement, the ministry said only that they discussed ways of expanding Russian-Armenian “military-technical cooperation,” an official euphemism for arms supplies.

Rostec comprises 15 holding companies most of which have major assets in Russia’s vast military-industrial complex.

Tonoyan met with Russia’s charge d’affaires and military attaché in Yerevan on May 16 just a few days after being appointed as defense minister. He held talks Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu in Kazakhstan a week later. The two men reportedly agreed to deepen the already close military ties between their nations.

Russia has long been the principal supplier of weapons and other military equipment to Armenian. Last October, Moscow agreed to provide the Armenian government with a fresh $100 million loan that will be spent on buying more Russian weapons at internal Russian prices set well below market-based levels. It already lent Yerevan $200 million for the same purpose in 2015.

A senior Armenian Defense Ministry official said on May 19 that the Armenian army will receive Russian-manufactured Tor-M2 air-defense systems later this year.

The modernized short-range systems are designed to intercept aircraft, cruise missiles, other rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles. They were first deployed by the Russian military last year.

Tonoyan arrived in Moscow at the start of a visit to Russia during which he will participate in a meeting of defense ministers of ex-Soviet states. It will be held in the Russian city of Kyzyl.

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