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The conflicting logic of military-political reality: what does the intensification of Russian-Azerbaijani military-technical cooperation
Material posted: Publication date: 25-09-2013

In the last week dramatically increased the interest of Armenian media and the public to the situation around the Karabakh conflict, primarily caused by information about the implementation of a number of large-scale military and technical treaties between Russia and Azerbaijan, the negotiations around which had been carried out since 2011.

Although it is a very peculiar ukazyvayutsya with the political morality of the phenomenon – the delivery of modern IWT, the country that is the likely military enemy strategic ally of Russia and member of CSTO, but it is very traditional for military-technical policy of Russia in the South Caucasus. Moscow for over two decades, so behaves in the Armenian-Azerbaijani-Russian military-political triangle in a variety of configurations.

The last time a similar angry reaction in Armenia caused sale Moscow Baku modern s-300PMU-2 "Favorit" and attack helicopters Mi-35M in 2011-2012. This time, however, a resonance in Armenia was far greater. Or in the perception of the Armenian society, the range of exported weapons was too impressive, or the frequency of such steps causes great irritation in Armenia and in Armenian communities of the Diaspora. However, all this is not so important...

More importantly, what I didn't want to notice in social circles both in Armenia, ruled by pride, and in Azerbaijan, where not want to admit the futility of his "Sisyphean labor" in the form of permanent and initiated their hard-earned petrodollars arms race. After all, nothing new, in fact, did not happen, is not happening and unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future. Except that now Azerbaijan has spent (and still spend) an additional not 1 billion, not 3 billion of its petrodollars, in addition to already spent 15-20 billion, but again without significantly changing the military balance in the Karabakh conflict zone.

Russia has sold and continues to sell Azerbaijan weapons and military equipment at market prices while compensating the military balance in the zone of the Karabakh conflict supply on favorable terms, and often virtually for free, corresponding equipment and armament of the Armenian army. Let this is the technique of polocaine inferior to the most modern types of weapons (for example, purchased by Azerbaijan are very decent tanks T-90S in reality, are only the most advanced upgrade of the same "old and good" T-72 tank), bought by Azerbaijan at market prices, but you can upgrade all the weapons, which is Armenia, and to compensate for this ratio. On the other hand, a qualitative advantage to compensate for quantitative and.

In other words, if Azerbaijan will be delivered to about 200 T-90 tanks (declared on the contract for the supply of one regimental kit 94 tanks and the option for the same amount of tanks), it means that Armenia will receive at least 300 T-72 tanks of the previous models. They will be updated according to the terrain and the challenges facing Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh armies, and can perfectly compensate for this qualitative difference. It will be similar for other types of military equipment. The result is a situation, when in fact Azerbaijan for their own money and finances re-equipment of the Armenian army.

Unfortunately, the article does not give the opportunity to substantiate the claim that a real military-political balance of forces in the Karabakh conflict zone is not significantly violated, some figures and more detailed analysis. Just confine ourselves to stating the fact that given the parallel process of rearmament of the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri of the Russian and Armenian sides have begun work on preservation of military-technical balance, even before began to be delivery of new weapons to Azerbaijan. The rearmament of the Russian military base in Gyumri actually completed at the beginning of this year. Of course, all the military equipment from this base, almost at the divisional level, for some reason was not sent to rust somewhere in Siberia, and, hence, this is where it all is now.

But this is not the only mechanism by which Russia provides military-technical balance with Armenia. The scale, volumes, the nomenclature of these deliveries are "secret" only for three million Armenians and six million Azerbaijanis. Moreover, almost simultaneously with the demonstration of recently delivered from Russia T-90S tanks, MLRS Smerch, BMP-3, TOS-1A "the Sun" and other weapons on parade in Baku on 26 June 2013. in Yerevan was visited by representative delegation of the CSTO and the Russian security Council, discussing issues of further military technical cooperation between Armenia and Russia, the formation of multi air components of the CSTO on the territory of Armenia, further rearmament of the 102nd base, etc. So that the balance of power at the present time not really changing, the more that these amounts of weapons within the Azerbaijani-Russian contracts, in particular, T-90S tanks and BMP-3, most of them still need to be produced at the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex, and it will take a couple of years.

In the end, ironically, creates a situation where almost all "happy". Azerbaijan buys for himself a very expensive pleasure that the Azerbaijani authorities with no less pleasure showed on parade 26 June 2013. on the eve of the autumn presidential elections. Part of the Azerbaijani public happy, seeing this technique in the parade and continuing to believe in a permanent assurances of his guide about that soon (as already done for almost two decades and will continue, probably not less time and continue) Azerbaijan will start operation for the liberation of Karabakh. In turn, Russia (especially in the face of a corrupt military-industrial complex, which is like trying to justify some Russian officials, "contrary to the opinion of" their generals pushes the Azerbaijani military contracts) also happy because they get billions of dollars from the windfall of the customer. Military-political leadership of Armenia, even publicly expressing their dissatisfaction, also will eventually be satisfied, as a result of this multi-way and at the same time predictable combinations will have the opportunity to upgrade its tank and artillery parks, modernisation of other categories of weapons and military equipment.

And finally, Western partners of Armenia are also happy because as a result of this history in the public and among political forces of Armenia will only increase anti-Russian sentiment. But even more fortunate are those organizations and political forces in Armenia, which consciously or not are very hold and argue an anti-Russian policy, because as a result they will receive more favorable field for their activities.

Could Russia not to do so given the strategic partnership between Russia and Armenia? Probably could, but, on the other hand, when, for example, is quite friendly for Armenia the country Ukraine or, say, Israel, has implemented nearly two billion shipments of weapons to Azerbaijan, Russia does not feel so obligated or forced to make any delivery of military equipment to Armenia, which was to balance the flows of billions of dollars of weapons to Azerbaijan this time. In this case, the situation is such that Russia and obligated and compelled to do this kind of "balancing" the supply of Armenia. But among other things, the main point is not technical mechanisms, and a political component.

We must understand that Russia is not interested in resumption of hostilities, including on the basis that in that case she would somehow respond. It is clear that in Moscow absolutely does not want to participate in any military actions in Karabakh or around it, but it is also clear that there are certain political obligations (both bilateral and in the framework of the CSTO), the failure of which has also its political and strategic price. Accordingly, Moscow will continue to do what she did the previous two decades: to maintain the balance, thereby not allowing to renewed fighting, and not creating a situation where the same Russian-supplied weapons could be used, including against the Russian army, whether in Armenia or somewhere else in the surrounding areas, in accordance with its bilateral and multilateral commitments in the security sphere in front of its only military and political ally.

Incidentally, Russia – with this kind of specific policy in the sphere of military-technical cooperation with its allies and their opponents – in this respect no exception. Remember similar policies, which for decades exercised by the US against Greece and Turkey, Egypt and Israel. The situation is such that even if such power is not a monopoly, and the predominant supplier of arms to both sides, it also has certain levers of influence on the situation.

Here is another rather interesting fact. According to decrypted the telegrams Wikileaks, dated 2009, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in a conversation with Western diplomats, when they talked about the possibilities of intensifying military-technical cooperation with Israel and the supply of air defense systems, answering the question, why are they trying to do, when it purchased the s-300 systems in Russia, said in Baku are not sure "in which case" the system With-300 can be used effectively. The telegram Wikileaks mentioned that Aliyev motivated by the fact that modern high-tech electronic systems can accordingly be controlled by the party supplier. We cannot say with certainty whether it was right or not, this is the only link cables from "Wikileaks", but the information is quite remarkable...

It should be emphasized that the above situation does not mean its interpretation as an attempt "to make a good mine at bad game". Naturally, in a more rigid system of military-political relations the situation is quite logical. It is possible to give various estimates of the ethics of Moscow's actions, but the fact that this multi-way design of its "military-technical behavior" fulfills its role in preserving stability in the region, is the fact. The fact that it causes a reaction within Armenia, is also unambiguous and very fact sensitive, and no one needs to flee to Russia. That's what Moscow should think about, because despite the given scheme of Russia's attempt to balance such delivery in the region, it is obvious that this story will have its consequences for the perception of Russia by the Armenian society.

It also may have some military-strategic consequences, which, if you step on the "Hour X", Russia is forced to respond accordingly. To then not be surprised why the Russian strategic bombers Tu-23M3 will be off Russian production of ZRK "Beech" (as it was in August of 2008), if a combination of circumstances, Russia will be dragged into the conflict, largely due to its own political miscalculations...


Sergey Minasyan


Tags: Russia , Caucasus , Armenia

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