CSTO membership not obstacle for Armenia to buy weapons from the West, former president Kocharyan says

CSTO membership not obstacle for Armenia to buy weapons from the West, former president Kocharyan says
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Robert Kocharyan said that Armenia, as a member of the CSTO, used to purchase weapons from Russia and China, as well as from Europe and even from the US

Former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said Yerevan’s membership to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) does not pose an obstacle for purchasing weaponry from the West, Armenpress reported.  

Armenia is a military ally of Russia through the CSTO, an intergovernmental military alliance in Eurasia, consisting of six post-Soviet states. The Moscow-led organization also includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. 

“We were a member of the CSTO, but we were also buying weapons from Europe,” Kocharyan said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

Armenia has bought its first batch of weapons from Europe back in 1991, even at a time when the Soviet Union had not collapsed yet, he said. 

“We were purchasing both from China, Europe and Russia. And I don’t think that being a member of the CSTO is an obstacle here”, former president said.

Kocharyan also said that Armenia had even received communication equipment from the United States. 

On Tuesday, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) said that the United States policymakers are considering the sale of US armaments to Armenia, according to Armenpress. 

 “For the first time since the rebirth of Armenian independence in 1991, US policymakers - under sustained bipartisan pressure from Congress - are considering the sale of US armaments to help Armenia defend itself against relentless Azerbaijani aggression and ethnic-cleansing,” the ANCA said in a statement.

Turkey-backed Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a six-weeks long war in 2020 over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh that has resulted with a Russia-brokered truce agreement in November 2020.

In mid-September, new clashes erupted between the two neighbors, which was seen as the most violent confrontation since 2020.

Armenia accused Azerbaijan for shelling Armenian positions, using large-caliber weapons, artillery, missile systems, and UAVs and occupying ten square kilometers of Armenian sovereign territory. Azerbaijan blamed Armenian armed forces of a series of “large-scale provocations” and said it has taken “retaliatory” measures. 

As a result of Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia, 207 Armenian soldiers have been killed, according to Armenian Security Council’s statement. Azerbaijan announced 71 military casualties.