ArmInfo. All the military hardware demonstrated at the September 21 military parade dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Armenia's independence belongs to the Armenian Armed Forces, Russia's Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volynkin has told ArmInfo, when commenting on the media reports that part of the weapons demonstrated at the parade does not belong to the Armenian side and the other part, particularly, the Iskander systems are props.
"It is rumored that the weapons shown at the parade do not belong to Armenia and that they belong to Russia. This is absolutely untrue. The Defense Ministry of Armenia has given an official answer to that question. The weapons totally belong to the Armenian Armed Forces," the diplomat says.
He notes that Russia and Armenia have allied relations and it is wrong to say that the weapons at the parade were just props. "There are certain contract obligations within the CSTO, bilateral relations on military and military-technical cooperation," the ambassador said.
At the same time, the Russian diplomat does not share some experts' opinion that the specified military hardware is meant to break the balance of forces in the region.
"The Russian military hardware supplied to Armenia is mostly defensive and I would not say it is going to break the balance of forces in the region or to provide advantages to anyone," Volynkin says.
To note, the military parade dedicated to the 25th Anniversary of Armenia's Independence and the advanced weapons showcased during it have raised hysteria in Azerbaijan. According to Azerbaijani media, Azerbaijani President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev, charged the Defense Ministry leadership to meet on September 21. "Analyzing the military-political situation in the region, the ministry officials paid special attention to strengthening all types of intelligence to identify new targets on the territory controlled by the enemy, assessing their significance and determining the sequence of their destruction, and strengthening mutual coordination between the Land Forces, Air Force, Rocket and artillery troops, Special Forces, and other types of troops," the Defense Ministry reported. "Taking into account the potential danger of any military threat to Azerbaijan, Defense Minister, Colonel- General Zakir Hasanov instructed the country's Armed Forces to strengthen control over all the military and strategic facilities in the enemy- controlled territories and be prepared to immediately destroy these targets if necessary. Minister Hasanov emphasized that the missile-artillery systems at the disposal of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces allow the army to execute these tasks with high accuracy," the Azerbaijani mass media reported. In addition, the Azeri media outlets disseminate information that the Iskander systems at the Yerevan parade were props.
The independence military parade in Yerevan featured military hardware that included Iskander short-range ballistic missile systems, Buk and other modernized surface-to-air missile systems, Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers, as well as drones and MiG-29 and Su-25 planes, Soviet-era Scud-B and Tochka-U systems, Infauna electronic warfare vehicles, S-300 missile systems, WM-80, MRLS, columns of tanks mounted on heavy military trucks, armored vehicles and others.