Large-scale modernization of the 102-th Russian military base (RVB) is underway in Armenia. Since the beginning of last year, around 20 service facilities have been repaired on the territory of the Gyumri and Yerevan military garrisons. The next step is a major overhaul of the canteen for military personnel on the territory of the “Big Fortress” military camp in Gyumri. In a month, they will be able to eat at the same time up to 600 servicemen using the “buffet” system.
The 102nd RBD is the guarantor of the republic’s security, and also ensures the security of the border areas of the countries participating in the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In August 2010, Russia and Armenia extended until 2044 the term of the agreement on the deployment of the base with the expansion of its geographical and strategic responsibility. The total number of personnel of the base is about 4 thousand military personnel. Motorized rifle, tank, artillery units and support units have BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, T-72B tanks, Smerch multiple launch rocket systems, Gvozdika self-propelled artillery systems, S-300, Buk M1-2 and anti-aircraft missile systems Arrow-10 ", and also there is a squadron of MiG-29 fighters deployed.
At the same time, Russia continues to arm Armenia. It is noteworthy that immediately after the start of the protests in Yerevan, which journalists called the electric Maidan, the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, co-chairman of the Armenian-Russian intergovernmental commission, Maxim Sokolov flew to the capital of Armenia. Following the meeting, it was announced that Armenia would receive a loan in the amount of 200 million dollars for the purchase of the latest types of Russian weapons.
At an extraordinary meeting of 2 in July, the National Assembly of Armenia ratified an intergovernmental agreement on the provision of a state export credit to the republic. As reported by the Armenian news agency ARKA, 98 deputies voted for ratification with one vote against. According to the Armenian news agency NEWS.am, Zaruhi Postanjyan from the Heritage party’s parliamentary faction voted against. At the same time, nothing is known about the participation of 32 parliamentarians in the voting.
Presenting the agreement, Deputy Minister of Defense Ara Nazaryan noted that the money will be used to purchase Russian-made military products during 2015 – 2017: “It is planned to buy a new type of weapons, which was not previously used by the Armed Forces of Armenia, to preserve the balance of armaments in the region. ” However, the Vice-Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia, Hermine Naghdalyan, has other information about the nomenclature of supplies. “Someone says that Russia delivers the same types of weapons to Azerbaijan,” said Naghdalyan, pointing out at the same time a significant difference in terms of payment. “Yes, it supplies, but on conditions that are very, very far from those on which Armenia is supplied,” the international news agency quotes the vice-speakerNews - Armenia. According to Naghdalyan, now Armenia also buys Russian weapons on preferential terms, but still has to pay for it immediately. “From now on, even from a low price, we will pay 10%, after which we pay only interest for three years, and only then, for 10 years, the principal amount of the soft loan,” the vice-speaker specified.
Earlier, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced that Azerbaijan had bought weapons and military equipment worth $ 4 from Russia.
The arms loan negotiations and the rapid ratification of the agreement took place against the background of mass unrest in Yerevan and Serzh Sargsyan’s statements that the government “will take all the burden of raising the tariff” before completing the audit of the Electric Networks of Armenia distribution company. According to him, the funds to cover the increase in the cost of electricity will be allocated at the expense of resources intended to strengthen security.
It is not surprising that MPs wondered what 200 million dollars would actually be spent in. In particular, the head of the Armenian National Congress faction Levon Zurabyan recalled that, according to media reports, part of the loan will be used to compensate for the increase in electricity tariffs. In response, Ara Nazaryan said that not a single luma (kopeks. - “NVO”) could be spent on purpose: “In presenting the agreement, I emphasized in my speech that, according to the first paragraph of the agreement, these credit funds are directed to finance the supply of products Russian-made military in accordance with the list of weapons listed in the first annex to the document. That is, only military products that are on the list can be acquired ... I will say more, not only from the funds of the agreement, but in general, not even a single budget can be used for the purposes you specified. Be sure of that. ”
The excitement of the deputies is understandable, because earlier experts had suggested that Azerbaijan was preparing a blow to the fortifications in Nagorno-Karabakh. However, in Armenia, many believe that this is contrary to Russian interests in the Caucasus, therefore, Russia will supply effective defensive weapons to Armenia.
Larisa Alaverdyan, executive director of the public organization “Against lawlessness”, also believes that Azerbaijan will not start large-scale military operations in the Karabakh conflict zone, since this contradicts the interests of British Petroleum, a British oil and gas company that would like to conduct its business in Azerbaijan in peaceful and comfortable conditions. "It sounds strange, but British Petroleum performs a deterrent function in this situation," Alaverdyan said at a press conference.
The nomenclature of armaments that Yerevan will receive is not disclosed, but according to information leaked to the Russian media, it is a question of anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons.