The Russian minister of defence, Sergei Shoigu, and his Armenian counterpart, Arshak Karapetyan, met in Moscow earlier today (11 August) to discuss Russian-Armenian military co-operation and issues of regional security.
Shoigu announced that Russia would help Armenia modernise its armed forces, stating:
“We attach great importance to the development of our cooperation in the military field, both in the bilateral format and within the CSTO. At the same time, we are ready to continue to assist in the implementation of the program on reforming the Armed Forces of Armenia. This is not an easy task, but I think that with your experience it will be up to the mark”.
The Russian defence minister added that “Armenia is ally and key partner of Russia in ensuring security in Transcaucasus, and we are extremely interested in maintaining stability in this region”.
For his part, Karapetyan reportedly expressed his gratitude at the Russian offer to help upgrade the Armenian military, noting that “Russia is the only state that provides a really tangible product of security for the Armenian people and today deals with security issues not only in Nagorno-Karabakh, but also directly on the borders of Armenia. We are ready for very close and effective cooperation”.
He emphasised that Russian-Armenian military-political relations were at the stage of moving to an unprecedentedly high level.
Karapetyan also thanked his counterpart for the Russian military contingent deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh, adding that their presence was helping to maintain peace in the region and to ensure an uninterrupted connection between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Karapetyan stressed the “inadmissibility” of provocations that he claimed the Azerbaijani side had been carrying out "from time to time" in the area under Russian control, citing reports this morning (11 August) of Azerbaijani strike drone usage.
A separate statement by the Armenian Ministry of Defence said that in addition to the talks regarding Armenian-Russian military co-operation in the defence sphere, the key issues raised by the Armenian side were, “the Armenian-Azerbaijani border situation and ways to resolve it, [and] prevention of border incidents”.