Russia avoids risks by not giving serious arms to Armenia
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 20
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Despite numerous speculations over Russia's heavy weapons supply to Armenia as part of a recently signed $200-million loan, the expectations didn't come true.
Russia didn't take risks and decided not to supply heavy weapons to Armenia despite the deteriorating situation in the region after its conflict with Turkey.
Back in July 2015, before the loan deal was signed, various reports suggested that Russia decided to supply the Iskander-M tactical ballistic missiles to Armenia.
Armenian media even recently reported that Moscow and Yerevan discussed a possible supply of three IL-76 military transport planes, as well as the newly designed Su-30SM multi-purpose fighters and simulators for these fighters to Armenia.
Armenia, which has no modern aircraft, was so overwhelmed that even Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan rushed to confirm the reports.
However, to avoid any further speculation, a list of weapons was released Feb. 18 by the Russian Legal Information Agency. To Armenia's great dismay, neither Iskander-M, nor SU-30SM fighters are included to the list.
The list begins with the Smerch multiple rocket launchers, but that didn't impress anyone. For instance, Azerbaijan has 12 of that weapon.
There is also the TOS-1A thermobaric rocket launcher in the list, but that is nothing new for the region.
In short, it seems that apart from a large number of KAMAZ trucks, the Armenian army will get nothing paying back the loan, which will be very difficult for Armenia's dying economy.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency's Russian news service, follow her on Twitter: @EmmaTariver