Helsinki Commission terms Iskander systems’ transfer to Armenia as destabilizing
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 18
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, US senator Roger Wicker, during the Helsinki Hearing Exchange on Iskander Missile Systems in Washington on May 17, raised the topic about Russia’s destabilizing transfers to neighboring and regional countries of threatening weapons systems.
Wicker said that Russia has transferred the Iskander-E missile system to OSCE member state Armenia and these destabilizing arms transfers are stoking tensions throughout Europe and Eurasia, according to the meeting’s transcript.
Stephen Rademaker, former assistant secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration and head of the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, for his part, noted that the Missile Technology Control Regime (MCTR) exists to limit missile technology transfers.
He went on to say that the key question is which version of the Iskander missile systems was transferred by Russia to Armenia, because various versions of Iskander are limited or not limited to the MCTR.
If it was Iskander-E then it was consistent with the MCTR, noted Rademaker, adding that if it was Iskander-M, then it would be inconsistent.
“I have actually seen conflicting press accounts of which version was transferred to Armenia,” he added.