The new supplies of Russian military hardware to
Azerbaijan totally meet the latest geopolitical changes in the region, Manvel
Sargsyan, Director of the Armenian Center for National and International
Studies, says in his interview with ArmInfo.
To note, Kurganmashzavod has recently started
manufacturing Vena 2S31 at the order of Azerbaijan. The plant has launched the
production of 18 systems. The 2S31 Vena is a Russian self-propelled 120 mm
mortar/cannon mounted on the chassis of a BMP-3 infantry combat vehicle. The
weapon system is equipped with digital automated fire control system,
navigation system, and optical/electronic reconnaissance and target acquisition
system. Mortar mines (up to 7.2 km
range) and cannon shells (up to 13 km range) can be used, including guided,
HEAT, smoke, and thermobaric munitions.
Manvel Sargsyan thinks that it is not a business. "These
supplies of Russian weapons are a part of the well-considered Russian policy
aimed at making Azerbaijan dependent on weapon supplies. By the political
decision to supply Azerbaijan with Russian arms, Moscow is trying to strengthen
its levers of pressure on Baku, because Russia is concerned about the supplies
of Israeli and Turkish military hardware to Azerbaijan", says the analyst.
He thinks that the Russian weapon supplies to
Azerbaijan are also connected with the Iranian factor conditioned by the
revolutionary changes in Tehran's relations with the United States and Israel. Iran
was considered as the West's rival and Turkey as the West's ally. Armenia was a counterweight in the system of
these relations. Meanwhile, now that
Iran has even decided to recognize Holocaust, Azerbaijan will not play the same
role as before, and this cannot help influencing Russia's policy towards
Azerbaijan, Sargsyan says.
"‚aku is surely tracing all these changes and
understands its significance. To all appearances, Baku wants to receive
preferences as weapons for its game at Russia's bidding", says Sargsyan.