Sarkisian Laments Russia’s Arms Sales to Azerbaijan; Rejects One-Sided Concessions

President Serzh Sarksiain in an interview with the R-Evolution program on Armenia TV
President Serzh Sarksiain in an interview with the R-Evolution program on Armenia TV

President Serzh Sarksiain in an interview with the R-Evolution program on Armenia TV

YEREVAN—President Serzh Sarkisian lamented Russia’s arms sales to Azerbaijan saying that it is “the most painful side of the Armenian-Russian relations.” He also rejected any notion of “unilateral concession” in the Karabakh conflict resolution process.

In an extensive interview with Armenia TV’s R-Evolution program Sarkisian said the from Armenia’s perspective, Russia’s continued sales of arms to Azerbaijan also impacted the military agreement between Armenia and Russia.

“The sale of Russian weapons to Azerbaijan is the most painful issue in Armenian-Russian relations, in the Armenian-Russian strategic partnership, and overshadows many things,” Sarkisian told Armenia TV. He added, however, that while the circumstances may not be acceptable for Armenia, they might be acceptable to the others.

“We can condemn Russia if there are serious consequences. If not, we have to consider that it’s a long-term policy of Russia aimed at stabilizing the situation in the region,” explained Sarkisian who warned that people who advocate for severing ties with Russia create extremely difficult circumstances, calling it “dangerous.”

The president explained that Armenia was moving forward with a balanced foreign policy by having close allies and also cooperating with partners.

Sarkisian also said that Armenia’s Armed Forces were periodically upgrading their capabilities and expressed satisfaction with Armenia’s arsenal.

He also took the opportunity to respond to critics who have said that Armenia’s acquisition of the powerful Iskander ballistic missiles was simply to boost the morale of the population saying that whoever is making such claims does not understand the capabilities of the missile system.

“When they know, they will understand the extent of devastating force it has,” explained SarkisianArmenian President Serzh Sargsyan said during an interview to Armenia TV.

In the realm of the Karabakh conflict peace talks, Sarkisian said that Armenia’s policy on the matter has not changed and reiterated that Armenia refuses to make unilateral concessions.

“We have never spoken about any concessions over the past twenty years. We have always spoken and keep insisting on the resolution of the issue on the basis of mutual concessions,” said Sarkisian who sounded confident that “the Armenian side will never think about easing the situation through unilateral concessions even if the resolution of the conflict drags out for another 20 years.”

“The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have no doubt as to which party is responsible for tension at the Line of contact,” said Sarkisian, who stressed that agreements reached last year in Vienna and St. Petersburg calling on the creation of investigative mechanism on the Artsakh-Azerbaijan border must be implemented.

Those mechanisms, he said, are not “only meant to reveal the party violating the ceasefire, but also investigate which officer or which soldier violated the ceasefire regime.”

Sarkisain said that Baku’s refusal to implement the provisions of the Vienna and St. Petersburg clearly indicates that they are the instigator of tensions.”


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  1. State of Emergency said:

    Listen to the comment from norserunt, he seems to know it all.

    • Rafi said:

      Is this you, Trump? Since when does a coherent analysis of the Armenia/NK/Azerbaijan situation a ‘know it all’?

  2. Raffi said:

    THE PRESIDENT IS RIGHT: we have to consider that it’s a long-term policy of Russia aimed at stabilizing the situation in the region. RUSSIA stays to be the best friend Armenia have., …..People who advocate for severing ties with Russia, should name an replaceable trustworthy alternative to Russia or they should shut up.

  3. Norserunt said:

    Very impressive interview by President Sargsyan.

    I want to add the following about Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan: Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan IS NOT a threat to Armenia. Moscow is executing a very complex geostrategic agenda. Armenians are incapable of fully understanding this agenda because Armenians are too emotional and politically illiterate. In a nutshell, the agenda is meant to create military parity between Yerevan and Baku and keep both parties dependent on Russia. Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan is not designed to help Azeris defeat Armenians of Artsakh. Moscow gives Armenia the countermeasures (often for free) for every weapons system Baku purchases from Moscow. Moscow knows that Armenia transfers these weapons to Artsakh but does nothing to stop it. We must also understand that Baku has the money to purchases whatever it wants from whoever it wants and Yerevan does not. Baku however pays market prices for everything it acquires from Russia, while Yerevan pays domestic (Russian) prices, and as noted above, sometimes Armenia is given weapons for free. If Russia did not sell weapons to Azerbaijan, there are nations like Turkey, Israel, Ukraine, China and Pakistan, to name only a few, that would. And in the process, Russia would lose all leverage over Baku, making the situation between Yerevan and Baku even more dangerous. Moreover, Moscow is actively seeking ways to place peacekeeping troops between Armenians and Azeris. Moscow will therefore use its leverage over Yerevan and Baku to eventually realize this agenda. Moscow’s ultimate intention here is to bring peace to the region and reincorporate it back into its political and economic orbit. Being that our small, impoverished, landlocked and blockaded homeland is located is a very dangerous region of the world, this is something that should be wished for by all Armenians. President Sargsyan understands all this. But being that he is the president of the Armenian republic he cannot talk about it.

    Those who do not understand any of what I wrote are either Western funded cyber activists out to drive a wedge between Armenia and Russia or simple minded, emotional people who simply do not understand the world they live in.

    • Arn.Sweden. said:

      I quote –

      “Armenians are incapable of fully understanding this agenda because Armenians are too emotional and politically illiterate” ! End of Quote.

      Well – we who Love Armenia and wish Her all good,
      are also emotional about this but,
      your comment is very Prudent as are also the Armenian Presidents.


    • State of Emergency said:

      Read up on the history of Mkrtich Khrimian Hayrig and you’ll think otherwise.

    • Ararat said:

      Russia is NOT the only reason the Armenian people exist. The Armenian people themselves, with their ancient history, tenacity and the will to survive, are the reason why the Armenian people exist. When the Armenian people were under Turkish occupation with no means of defending themselves is when they got massacred. When Armenians took charge of their destiny with an army to protect its population and defend its borders is when Armenians triumphed and the enemy was defeated, humiliated and ran for mice holes to hide. Russia is nothing more than an ally and even that is sometimes questionable. Russian foreign policy with Turkish and pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijani arch-enemies of the Armenian people is based on self-interest first and Armenia second.

      It is true that Russia supplies weapons to Armenia to deter the enemy and to keep it at arm’s length but the reality is that Russia is a double dealer. Given the fact that what is left of Armenia, 10% of historic Armenian landmass, with population of only three million surrounded by the genocidal Turkey on one side and its criminal collaborator pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijan on the other, Armenia does not have much choice but to stick with Russia despite Russia’s questionable foreign policy. Armenia already has taken care of Azerbaijan and can defend itself against it but surely Armenia alone can not, well not now anyway, contain Turkey and that’s probably the only reason why Russia has a presence in Armenia. At the same time Russia’s presence in the South Caucasus, perhaps even in the entire Caucasus region, is dependent on friendly relation with Armenia and it will disappear without Armenia. The relationship between Russia and Armenia is not mutually exclusive. They are both dependent on each other and it only seems Russia has the upper hand in this relationship because it is able to manipulate the situation in a region where Armenians can be quite vulnerable.

      Armenia with strong leadership can manipulate Russia as much Russia manipulates the states in the region. I think Russia will take notice if the Armenian leadership speaks from a position of strength and it will adjust its foreign policy that is much more beneficial to Armenia. If the Armenian leadership acts subservient then that is exactly how it will be treated. The strong is respected and the weak is always stepped on. In any event, I think we need nuclear weapons to keep these Turkish hyenas with wolf-like appetites at bay and to force peace in the region. We need to adopt the Israeli model where practically every Armenian citizen is a soldier and with massive weapons of mass destruction without any hesitation to make use of them to keep the enemy at a tight leash!

  4. D2 said: