The International Exhibition of Arms and Defence Technologies «ArmHiTec-2018» is now officially opened


The second edition of International Exhibition of Arms and Defence Technologies «ArmHiTec-2018» with more than 30 military-industry companies from 14 states of the world on board was officially opened in the capital of Armenia.

As the chairman of the state military-industrial committee of Armenia, Mr. David Pakhchanyan, has said on Wednesday at a press conference, on ArmHiTech-2018 military developments of such countries as Russia, India, China, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Poland, Serbia and also all Armenian enterprises of military industrial complex will be presented.

It is stated that during ArmHiTech-2018 work the joint meeting of council of board of military industrial complex of Russia with security agencies and enterprises of Armenian "defense industry" is planned. Moreover, the business council of the Interstate commission of military-economic cooperation of the CSTO will have a meeting during the show as well.

The Russian military industrial complex is on a substantial scale presented on the Yerevan weapon salon. The relevant developments will be shown by the concern of aerospace defense Almaz-Antey, the leading domestic manufacturer of armored machinery - "Uralvagonzavod", MiG - Russian aircraft corporation, the head company on production of multiple artillery rocket system "Splav" and other companies.

Military-technical cooperation between Armenia and Russia

Armenia is a key ally of Russia in the Post-Soviet region. This transcaucasian republic in 2016 became the first country to receive  the advanced development of Russian defense industry - operational and tactical "Iskander" complex.

Russia regularly grants Armenia with weapon loans as a support to this state experiencing some financial difficulties . The latest agreement of this kind with a total amount of 100 million dollars has been ratified by parliament of Armenia in the end of 2017.

As the Minister of Defence of the country, Mr. Vigen Sargsyan, said, Yerevan intends to buy from Moscow the "weapon of strategic control" within the new defensive credit.

Perspectives and difficulties.

The issue of military and technical cooperation between Russia and Armenia is a traditional subject of disputes between Moscow and her other strategic partner in the region — Azerbaijan whose purchasing power considerably exceeds possibilities of the Armenian side. To prove so, based on the data from open sources, in 2010-2014 Azerbaijan rich with hydrocarbons has carried out large-scale purchases of the Russian arms for the sum about 1 billion dollars.

At the same time, the officials from Baku claim that they focus on offensive arms which will be used in action to resolve the Nagorny Karabakh conflict continuing for the last 30 years if diplomacy fails.

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has begun in February, 1988 when the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region has declared its exit from the Azerbaijani SSR. In September, 1991 in the NKAO center - Stepanakert, the creation of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) was declaired. Azerbaijan during the subsequent military conflict has lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Since 1992 negotiations on peaceful settlement of the conflict within the Minsk group of OSCE are conducted. Azerbaijan insists on maintaining the territorial integrity, Armenia protects the interests of the unrecognized republic as NKR isn't the party of negotiations.

For the sake of the balance maintenance in the region which was once again almost ruined in April, 2016 Russia has launched the supplies of the similar systems of arms to Yerevan within the state export credit of 200 million dollars. Then Yerevan bought the multiple artillery rocket system "Tornado", heavy fire-throwing systems TOS-1A "Sun blaze", "Tiger" armored cars and other arms.

However the smoldering conflict around Karabakh is not the only factor which is potentially complicating military and technical cooperation of the Russian Federation and Armenia. In 2017 the USA has informed the Armenian side and other states that they may  impose sanctions against them in case of continuation of purchases of the Russian military equipment.

According to materials of the Armenian newspaper "Aikakan Zhamanak" ("The Armenian time"), the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan has warned the government of the country about risk to fall under sanctions. At the same time, speaking on the eve of ArmHiTech-2018, Minister Pakhchanyan has said that first of all, in this issue, Armenia will be guided by the necessities of its own protection, but not by political reasons.

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