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Armenia–Poland: flirting with a potential enemy
Material posted: Publication date: 16-05-2013

In the last few years there has been a continuous process of increasing contradictions between the political-military blocs NATO and CSTO. Thus one of the main "irritants" in the relationship is the constant confrontation between Poland and Russia that are active participants of these organizations.

Regular unsubstantiated statements by Polish political elites about the threat from Moscow for Poland and Baltic States lead to the necessary response from the Kremlin. Moreover, Warsaw, using the program "Eastern partnership", the official purpose of which is rapprochement of EU with six countries of the former USSR: Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Belarus, in fact, seeks to weaken Russia's influence not only in Eastern Europe but also in the Caucasus. In particular, the views of the poles facing Armenia is the only ally of Kremlin in the region. Thus, official Yerevan is not willing to demonstrate to Moscow its "independence" in foreign relations.
It should be noted that since the beginning of this year military-political cooperation of the Warsaw and Yerevan have intensified significantly. In March, during the visit of Secretary of national security Council of Armenia Artur Baghdasaryan to Poland, signed an agreement to establish a joint Armenian-Polish venture between the company "Lubava" and Charentsavan machine-tool plant Armenian defense Ministry. In addition, during the meeting with the head of national security Bureau of Poland stanisław Goat had discussed the two countries ' cooperation in the defense sector, as well as a wide range of issues of regional and international security, including the provision of Poland's support to Armenia in the European integration process and cooperation within the "Eastern partnership".
Moreover, at the end of April in a press there were articles with reference to sources in the defense Ministry of Armenia plans large-scale modernization of the armed forces of the country. Special attention was paid to the intentions to conduct the improvement of the Armenian armored vehicles with the participation of Polish enterprises VPK. In early may this information in his statement was confirmed by the Minister of defense Seyran Ohanyan. He said that according to the concept of development of military industry, approved by the government of the country, the defense Ministry has compiled a list of businesses that will be directly involved in the modernization of weapons and military equipment. In particular, in joint with the Polish concern "Bumar" the company will begin the overhaul and modernization of T-72 tanks.
You must pay attention to the fact that Armenia is a member state of the CSTO and the planned upgrading of the armed forces with the participation of Poland are at odds with one of the principles of military construction in the framework of the Organization for the harmonization of arms. Especially surprising is the following: is it possible that Russian and Belarusian military-industrial complex, able to upgrade Soviet T-72 tank, don't inspire confidence to the partner in the CSTO?
The choice of Yerevan and is not justified from a practical point of view. Under the current program, the modernization of T-72 to the level of the RT-72U will include the replacement of the power plant, installation of additional armor protection. Also the tanks will get improved system monitoring and communications. Polish variant of modernization significantly inferior to the proposals of the enterprises of the Russian and Belarusian military-industrial complex. In particular, a variant of Borisov 140-th repair plant on modernization of T-72 tanks compares favorably with the Polish proposal. The Belarusian enterprise, not counting the above, offers additional possibilities to improve the dynamic characteristics of the undercarriage of the tank, increasing its combat effectiveness through the installation of thermal imaging complexes and sights that provides detection and recognition of targets day and night at distances up to 4-5 km in addition, the Borisov plant has experience with post-warranty service of armored vehicles in different countries, as well as the effective training of customer's specialists and ensure service organizations equipment and technology. Additionally, to support the vehicles throughout their life cycle, Belarusians can develop and build at the customer Center logistics support and service.
The cooperation with companies of Belarusian military-industrial complex would be an additional step to strengthen allied relations between the countries within the CSTO. But, unfortunately, it should be stated that in this game there is no sense of the Armenian nuclear specialists, and the hidden desire of the North Atlantic politicians to split the Organization, gaining credibility in the post-Soviet space. Similar agreement with a member state of the Alliance are, to put it mildly, strange, especially in light of the allegations made by Yerevan in the address of Belarus in connection with the sale of arms and military equipment to Azerbaijan.
Considering the plans of Armenia modernize their fleet of combat vehicles with the participation of Poland, we can talk about trying Yerevan get away from the exclusive orientation of the CSTO States in the sphere of military-technical support of their armed forces. In addition, like flirting with potential adversaries clearly have a negative impact on relations with other States members of the Organization and is at odds with the principles of allied policy.
Sergei Markov


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