Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu paid a visit to Armenia on January 29 which was his first foreign visit in this post. Russian Defense Ministry reported that the visit was planned though it passed in condition of tensed situation over Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta paper writes.
According to the article’s author Vladimir Mukhin, Moscow is seriously concerned with Baku statements that Azerbaijani air defense forces have been ordered to shoot down civil planes “which will enter its air space illegally” and Baku considers Nagorno-Karabakh’s sky its air space.
Russian experts say such approach of Baku may cause war. Baku acquired such an opportunity after Russia sold 2 divisions of zenith-missile systems “Favorite” to Azerbaijan in 2010 instead of selling it to Iran.
The Russian paper’s sources in the Defense Ministry reported that after the failure of Azerbaijani-Russian negotiations over Gabala radar station, Russia’s incumbent President Vladimir Putin annulled the decision on selling the third division of zenith-missile systems to Azerbaijan.
Mass media do not report whether Shoygu has discussed the issue of possibility of operation of Setapanakert airport at the meetings with the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and his Armenian counterpart Seyran Ohanyan. While Russian Defense Ministry sources reported that the members of the Russian delegation were unofficially advised not to do so.
During the meeting though a special focus was made on the discussion of the draft contract on Armenian-Russian military-technical cooperation. The contract is to be signed by the leaders of the two countries in near future.
The Russian paper also writes about the signing of memorandum of mutual understanding between the CSTO Secretariat and Armenia’s National Security Council on establishment of CSTO Academia in Armenia.
“Finally, Russia turns its face toward its main and strategic ally in the South Caucasus – Armenia. The reinforcement of its military potential in the region is the stability guarantee. It is a restricting factor for Azerbaijan which is trying to solve the issue in the military way,” General-Lieutenant Yuri Netkachev says.