The Russian Iskander missile system’s deployment in Armenia was a mandatory means aimed at ensuring stability in the region, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan told Sputnik Armenia.
“I believe this [deployment] was a compulsory measure so that the military situation in our region becomes somewhat balanced,” Sargsyan noted in an interview with renowned Russian journalist Dmitry Kiselyov. “It’s no secret that Azerbaijan regularly purchases advanced weapons over the last few years. We [i.e. Armenia] don’t have such opportunities as Azerbaijan has—I mean the financial opportunities. But all the while we are trying to balance the situation by finding its antidote. [And] I believe that the Iskander is just the antidote in this case.
“The arms race is certainly a bad situation, and we don’t want to take this step. But what to do if they threaten you every day with war and physical extermination? You need to take appropriate steps.”
The President also noted that Armenia and Russia have an agreement with respect to maintaining the balance of power in the region.
“I believe that, based on this, Russia agreed to our request, and provided us with this system that is magnificent, in the military sense,” added the President of Armenia.
Serzh Sargsyan also stated that Russia plays a key role in the region, including in the protection of peace and stability.