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Envoy Confirms Russian Military Aid To Armenia


Armenia - Russian Ambassador to Armenia Sergey Kopyrkin holds a news conference, June 11, 2019

The Russian ambassador in Yerevan, Sergei Kopyrkin, confirmed on Tuesday that Russia is helping Armenia restructure and modernize its armed forces following the recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutiunian reported such assistance in an interview with the Russian RIA Novosti news agency published on Monday. He said concrete “recommendations” have already been made on how to rearm the Armenian army in the current circumstances but did not give any details.

“Very intensive contacts are now underway between the defense ministries of Russia and Armenia in various directions,” Kopyrkin told reporters, commenting on Harutiunian’s remarks.

Asked whether Moscow is indeed ready to provide such military aid to Yerevan, he said: “Russia is already doing that.”

Kopyrkin did not go into details. Also, he did not deny or confirm Harutiunian’s assertion that the Russian military base in Armenia will be expanded in view of the post-war “military-political realities in the region.” The envoy said only that the two sides are now looking into ways of “strengthening cooperation between our countries and armed forces.”

Yerevan announced plans to further deepen Russian-Armenian military ties shortly after the war with Azerbaijan stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire on November 10. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian stated on New Year’s Eve that his country now needs “new security guarantees.”

Late last month, a delegation led by Colonel-General Sergei Istrakov, the deputy chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, visited Yerevan for nearly weeklong negotiations with the Armenian army’s top brass. According to Harutiunian, the talks were aimed at “assisting us in the reform and modernization of Armenia’s armed forces.”

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