Russia’s continuing weapons sale to Azerbaijan appears to be the major wrinkle in the country’s developing strategic alliance with Armenia, , a Yerevan-based military expert said Saturday, warning of serious hazards to regional security.
In an interview with Tert.am, David Jamalyan dismissed the allegations that the double dealing aims to maintain balance between Armenia and Azerbaijan against the backdrop of the unsettled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He described the argument, repeatedly cited by the Russian authorities, as a cynical justification potentially creating an explosive situation in the region.
“I don’t think the supply of Russian armament is limited to business interests only. That’s true certainly but is of secondary importance. It is rather a desperate step to make Azerbaijan dependent upon Russia, as a weapons supply deal implies also an ongoing and lasting dialogue with the supplier. Seeing Azerbaijan’s resolute efforts towards distancing itself from the Russian zone of influence, our partners [in Russia] are now trying to make them bound in this way,” he noted.
Jamalyan also highlighted Azerbaijan’s dependence upon Turkey as a Turkic state. “Their dependence on Turkey in very different areas is too deep to isolate [the two countries] from each other,” he noted.
In that context, the expert described the Russian policies as a way of encouraging the the Azerbaijani authorities’ bellicose ambitions. “Being a supporter of the Russian-Armenian alliance, I consider those comments simply cynical. Russia’s justifications sound really very absurd as we do not have any aggressive ambitions. It is Azerbaijan that pursues aggressive ambitions in essence. Hence any supply of weapons to Azerbaijan implies encouraging those ambitions, and contributing to an increased tension,” Jamalyan added.