Armenia Armed by Russia for battles with Azerbaijan - 2007

Although there are a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out, for better or for worst, Armenia's future lies with the Russian Federation. Why Russia? Besides the centuries long history between Armenians and Russians, besides the fact that due to a Russian presence in the region there is an Armenia in the Caucasus today, besides the fact that Russia is amongst the most advanced nations on earth - Armenians need to understand that the twenty-first century potentially belongs to Russia.

This is, in essence, why we are currently seeing a frenzy of activity in the West to contain and/or undermine the Russian Federation throughout Eurasia. What's more, Armenians need to understand that Russia is a natural bulwark against pan-Turkism, Western imperialism and Sunni Muslim fundamentalism. I am very glad that the "Hanrapetakan" party in Armenia, represented today by President Serzh Sargsyan, has had the strategic foresight to make sure that Armenia remains firmly within Moscow's sphere of influence. 

Concurrently, I am grateful that Moscow continues to realize the vital strategic importance of the Armenian Republic within the Caucasus. Why is Armenia important for Russia? For geostrategic reasons, namely to keep NATO and Turks out of the Caucasus and to secure its oil/gas distribution networks. Moscow needs Armenia as an ally in the region. And as noted above, for geostrategic, economic and survival reasons - Armenia needs Russian support.

The fact of the matter is, the West has no real interests within the tiny landlocked resource-less Armenian republic other than to make sure official Yerevan does not interfere with their regional projects. The West's interest in the region is primarily the exploitation of Caspian Sea basin oil and gas, keeping the large powerful nation of Turkey within its sphere of influence and keeping Russia at bay, out of the Caucasus. 


Needless to say, without the Russian factor at play in the Caucasus, the every existence of the Armenian nation can be at risk. For the West, Armenia is simply a geopolitical obstacle, a nuisance. For Russia, Armenia is a strategic gate, a foothold in the Caucasus, that it has to protect for its national interests. For Armenia, Russia is a sustainer that it needs to stay alive in a very volatile and complicated geopolitical environment. 

For a small, landlocked and resources-less nation surrounded by historic enemies in an increasingly complicated world, Armenia has no other option but to place its long-term and short-term hopes upon the Russian state. May God bless the centuries old Russo-Armenian alliance.

Arevordi


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Armenia Armed by Russia for battles with Azerbaijan Scandal compared to Iran-Contra



Russia secretly has shipped more than $1 billion worth of arms to Armenia, apparently to be used against - pro-Western Azerbaijan and - to force the Azeris -and their strategic oil reserves into Russia's orbit. Aman Tuleyev, minister for relations with the Commonwealth of Independent States, has acknowledged that Moscow supplied Armenia with 84 T-72 main battle tanks, 72 heavy howitzers, 24 Scud missiles with eight launchers, 50 armored personnel carriers and millions of rounds of ammunition. Lev Rokhlin, the chairman of the Defense Committee of the Duma, the lower House of the Russian parliament, told a closed Duma session April 2 that Moscow had -shipped $1 billion worth of weapons to the tough, nationalist government of President Levon Ter-Petrosian in Yerevan. His report was similar to Mr. Tuleyev's acknowledgment. Between 1992 and early 1994, when the conflict was at its height, Russian heavy transport aircraft were said to have ferried 1,300 tons of ammunition across the Caucasus to the Armenian capital. Most of the tanks were flown in aboard giant Antonov planes from the city of Akhtubinsk.

The Azeris say Russia also supplied 1,000 hand-fired Strela-2 and Strela-3 anti-aircraft missiles, which were moved by ship across The Caspian Sea, then sent over land through Iran to Armenia. Iran has denied playing any role. Western intelligence sources said The weapons played a crucial role in Armenia's, seizure of large areas of Azerbaijan, which created a million refugees, more than from any other conflict in Europe since World War II. Although Russia's military support for Armenia in its long conflict with Azerbaijan has been well-known, the extent of the arms transfers came as a surprise.

Responding to the revelations, Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered a major government probe Saturday that could implicate his longtime defense minister, Marshal Pavel Grachev who was fired last spring. Russian military prosecutors are considering calling Marshal Grachev in for questioning over the scandal, which has been compared to The Iran-Contra affair. The- chairman of the Azeri parliament, Murtuz Alesketov, said Saturday the arms shipments could destabilize the Caucasus. "If these arms are not returned, this could lead to a new large-scale war in the region" he said at parliamentary hearings in Baku. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, Shi'ite Muslim Azerbaijan has eagerly courted American oil companies to help it develop the immense oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea, estimated as second in size and value only to those in the Persian Gulf. Russia has responded by backing Orthodox Christian Armenia, its historic
ally.

On March 29, shortly after Mr. Yeltsin's Helsinki summit with President Clinton, the Russian leader finalized a treaty of friendship and strategic partnership with Mr. Ter-Petrosian. The move came after Mr. - Ter-Petrosian alarmed Azerbaijan by appointing The hard-line leader of ethnic Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbajjan, as prime minister of Armenia, a move widely regarded as paving the way for a renewed attack on Azerbaijan. There are at least 20,000 Russian 4th Army troops in Armenia concentrated around three major bases. Ivan Rybkin, head of Russia's Security Council, said after a meeting in Moscow with Mr. Ter-Petrosian on March 27 that the new bilateral treaty would have a "military component", the Moscow newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported March 28. Some Moscow analysts believe that Defense Minister Igor Rodionov and his supporters leaked details of the arms deals now to prevent Mr. Yeltsin from bringing back Marshal Grachev as chief military inspector at the Defense Ministry, the independent Moscow newspaper Segodnya said.

Source: http://www.geocities.com/baguirov/arms1.htm


ARMENIA AND RUSSIA REASSERT BONDS AMID GEORGIA’S CRISIS




While Georgia’s political crisis continues into its third week, Russian officials have praised Armenia as a chief ally in the volatile Transcaucasus region, potentially strengthening strategic ties between Moscow and Yerevan. On Nov.14, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov met with his Armenian counterpart Vardan Oskanian in Moscow. Russia’s chief diplomat hailed the bilateral alliance. Oskanian noted "complicated situation" in the region and dismissed media allegations that Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze had requested assistance from Armenian President Robert Kocharian. "It did not happen," Oskanian said, according to the RIA news agency. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov also distanced Russia and Armenia from the crisis in Georgia. Ivanov dubbed Armenia as "Russia’s only ally in the south," called Russian arms supplies to Armenia "purely defensive" and pledged to replenish them. "Russia’s military presence in Armenia is necessary. The military hardware at the Russian 102nd base makes any threat to Armenia unrealistic," Ivanov told a news conference in Yerevan, according to Interfax. "We will rearm and re-equip the Russian 102nd military base in Armenia." On November 11, Ivanov and his Armenian counterpart Serge Sarkisian signed a number of agreements on the Russian military base as well as on bilateral military cooperation in 2004. The deals seem to bolster what is already a close strategic relationship. "These agreements would allow the 102nd base to feel more comfortable," Ivanov reportedly commented. Russian forces in Armenia reportedly use MiG-29 jetfighters and S300 PMU1 air defense batteries, an advanced version of the SA-10C Grumble air defense missile. According to Russian missile manufacturers, the new S300 has anti-stealth capability and can shoot down combat aircraft, cruise missiles as well as ballistic missiles in an ABM mode. The S300 PMU1 missile system can engage targets flying as low as 10 meters off the ground at a range of up to 150 kilometers.

[...]

Source: http://www.eurasianet.org/department...av111703.shtml


Russia to invest over half billion dollars to Armenian economy


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian President Robert Kocharyan today had meeting, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti agency. The sides discussed huge projects to be implemented with the participation of Russia in Armenia. Kremlin source stated that bilateral cooperation in energy with the participation of Gasprom occupies special place among these projects. Over $500 million will be invested in Armenian economy in the framework of this project. Involvement of Russian capital into the development of Razdan Thermal Power Station, construction of refinery near Mehri city, modernization of Armenia’s railways and other transport infrastructures, atomic energy, gold production and other fields are on focus. Putin and Kocharyan also touched on several international problems and the situation in the Caucasus.

Source: http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=33372


Gazprom: Oil Refinery in Armenia To Process Crude Oil from Iran


A subsidiary of Russia's state-run Gazprom gas giant confirmed on Friday reports that it is considering building a big oil refinery in Armenia that would process crude from neighboring Iran. A spokesman for the Gazprom-Neft company, Natalya Vyalkina, told RFE/RL that both the Armenian and Russian governments are looking into the project estimated at a staggering $1.7 billion. She would not say when they could make concrete decisions. Reports in the Russian press have said President Robert Kocharian discussed the matter with Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko and other top officials during his confidential visit to Moscow last week. Khristenko’s ministry refused to comment on the information. Russian-Armenian cooperation on energy was on the agenda of Kocharian’s follow-up talks with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. The projected refinery would reportedly be built in Meghri, an Armenian town close to the Iranian border, and have the capacity to process up to 7 million tons of Iranian oil each year. Petrol produced by it would be exported to Iran. Despite its vast oil reserves, the Islamic Republic has to import gasoline to meet domestic demand.

Source: http://www.huliq.com/8161/gazprom-oil-refinery-in-armenia-to-process-crude-oil-from-iran


Russia going to finance construction of new NPP in Armenia?



Russia is ready to fully finance construction of a new Nuclear Power Plant in Armenia, IA Regnum reports with a reference to a source in the Armenian government. Some agreements were achieved during the recent visit of Sergey Kiriyenko, the head of the Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) to Yerevan. Russia will be a joint owner of the new Armenian NPP, according to the source. Russia’s share in abuilding NPPs in foreign states may make from 5% to 20-30%. Kiriyenko said Russia is ready to send specialists for the works to be carried out. The Armenian authorities are planning to build a new NPP, since the republic has no other alternative after the closing of the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. At a meeting with the students of the Yerevan State University RA President Robert Kocharian said Armenia should have atomic energy and works are carried out in this direction. Some $240 million is essential to close the ANPP whose operation term expires in 2016. However, with joining the European Neighborhood Policy, Armenia undertook to close the NPP in the shortest terms.

Source: http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=22103


Russian defense minister visited Memorial to victims of the Armenian Genocide


On January 26, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov who is currently in Armenia, visited Memorial to victims of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Empire in Yerevan. As a REGNUM correspondent informs, the Russian minister was accompanied by Secretary of National Security Council of the Armenian President, Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisyan, representative of the country’s military commandment, Russian Ambassador to Armenia and other officials. Ivanov placed a wreath to the Eternal Flame and observed the pine tree that he had planted by himself at the Alley of memory. Besides, during his trip Ivanov visited Russian military base in Gyumri, met the Armenian president, prime minister and defense minister of Armenia.

Source: http://www.regnum.ru/english/polit/579732.html


One of Russia’s priorities – relations with Armenia - Lavrov


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday relations with Armenia is one of Russia’s priorities. “We believe that stability in the Caucasus depends in many respects on Armenia’s situation,” he told a meeting with students and professors of the Yerevan State University. “It is possible to ensure such stability not by means of creating a certain bloc, but by means of joint efforts,” he said. “Within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization we do not try to fence off ourselves from others or work against anyone,” he said. The Collective Security Treaty Organization is “aimed at stability, counteraction to terrorism and drugs trafficking and open cooperation with the countries interested in resolving these tasks,” Lavrov said. He pointed out that Russia is interested in calm on its borders, stable development of neighbouring countries and “mutually advantageous and equal cooperation with them proceeding from the interests of our economies and our countries.”

Source: http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2....2515&PageNum=0

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