TODAY.AZ / Politics

Defying pure logic Armenia rearming in revenge for 2020 Karabakh defeat: New Delhi major weapons supplier of Yerevan

14 March 2023 [10:45] - TODAY.AZ
By Azernews 

By Sabina Mammadli; Qabil Ashirov

Armenia has embarked on a vast rearmament program though it would have been logical for Yerevan to remain loyal to the November 10, 2020 capitulation act, and be conducive to the restoration of peace and order in the South Caucasus by honoring the principles of Moscow-brokered peace deal.

Alas, Armenia has not learned a proper lesson from the devastating defeat on the battlefield and is doing the groundwork for revenge by procuring new weapons, and India comes first on this list of sellers as Russia cannot play its usual role of supplier of weapons by virtue of its a year-long war in Ukraine.

Baku is obviously unhappy about New Delhi’s growing military cooperation with Yerevan and diplomatic steps are in action to discourage India from playing a negative role and pushing Armenia into another adventure.

Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Elnur Mammadov traveled to New Delhi to attend the “Raisina Dialogue” conference for the first time.

Speaking at the conference, the Azerbaijani official underscored the importance of multilateral cooperation in the fight against global challenges during the transformation of international relations.

Elnur Mammadov also highlighted Azerbaijan’s commitment to the global development agenda, making a consistent contribution to the establishment of international peace and security.

Besides, the deputy foreign minister updated the forum on the new dynamics that have developed in the region in the post-Karabakh conflict period, and the current regional situation, as well as noted that Azerbaijan is carrying out major reconstruction activities on its liberated lands. He stressed that, despite the obstacles posed by Armenia, Azerbaijan is determined to promote the peace process.

Armenia’s rearmament move defies any logic

It would have been logical to expect Armenia’s adhere to the terms of the capitulation act of November 10, 2020, but this is not the case when its patrons are adding fuel to the fire.

Indian websites carry reports about the sale of MArQ 155 howitzers to Armenia though this is not the first weapons deal between the two countries. As Armenia is not a big market or a wealthy state to play a crucial role in the Indian economy through procuring weapons, New Delhi’s motive behind rearming Yerevan should be viewed in Baku’s independent foreign policy parameters.

"One point should be specially noted in Armenian-Indian military-technical cooperation," a military pundit said in response to a question about what is behind the Armenian-Indian military cooperation.

"Immediately after the war, especially in 2021, Armenia held a number of meetings and took steps to strengthen its army's weapons and equipment park with the help of Russia. However, Russia refused to participate in the process of arming Armenia. Of course, one of the main reasons for this was Russia's preparation for the Ukrainian war. For sure, we did not know this, but the Russian state and its military structures had stopped the sale of various military equipment because they had been aware of the coming Russia-Ukrainian war," military expert Ramil Mammadli said.

According to him, facing serious problems in obtaining Soviet-Russian military equipment, which is the basis of the arms and armament of the Armenian army, the latter turned to other countries to purchase weapons. Negotiations were kicked off with a number of countries, and Serbia was one of the main countries. In order not to damage the existing friendly relations with Azerbaijan, Serbia did not repeat the mistake it had done before, i.e. as it is known previously Serbia had cooperated with Armenia on the sale of military industrial equipment.

"In such a case, India remained the only alternative, since it is the second largest producer of Soviet-Russian military equipment after Russia. Armenia tried to normalize relations with India and sought cooperation," the pundit added.

The pundit noted that due to the warm relationship between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, and Azerbaijan's support to Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, India moved close to Armenia. Therefore, the Indian government agreed to the sale of various military equipment to Armenia, including unmanned combat aerial vehicles, reconnaissance UAVs, MLRS, and howitzers.

As for purpose of Armenia in arming, the pundit noted that surely these weapons acquired by Armenia are not for storage. It is to be used as needed.

“I do not think that Armenia gets these weapons to achieve peace. Of course, Armenia is preparing for war. Armenia makes some decisions evaluating the possibilities of starting new military operations. From this point of view, we can say that Armenia is preparing for war,” Ramil Mammadli said.

However, the pundit is suspicious about the capability of these weapons to change the military balance in the South Caucasus, especially against Azerbaijan.

“Arms and equipment acquired by Armenia from India will not allow Armenians to gain an advantage in the region and in competition with Azerbaijan. Of course, Armenia has taken a number of important steps to acquire some sophisticated weapons. In response to this, Azerbaijan has taken retaliatory measures. For example, Armenia tries to acquire even unmanned combat aerial vehicles. However, Azerbaijan has also strengthened air defense and radio-electronic systems to protect against such technologies. We can say meaningful,” the pundit opined.

Both Indian and Armenian media do not shy away from praising each other, as well as the level of bilateral ties. Behind all this lays India’s generous supply of arms to Armenia: soon after the second Karabakh war, reports were in the public domain about arms deals between Armenia and India. Notably, in 2022, Armenia signed an arms contract with India to the tune of over $250 million. Moreover, Armenia does not plan to stop there, as reports from earlier this year, show that Yerevan considers the purchase of Indian-made medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) systems.


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