Armenian-Indian axis against stability in South Caucasus
    Baku already voiced its warning

    ANALYTICS  25 January 2023 - 12:38

    Matanat Nasibova

    The Armenian media periodically reported on the military-technical cooperation with India, with the Indian portal IDRW having more recently reported on the alleged purchase of Indian medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems MRASM by Armenia. It was noted that this decision of the Armenian side is caused by the desire to replace the outdated Soviet air defence systems “Pechora” C - 125 with more modern complexes. Ever since Russia suspended military supplies to Armenia, the establishment of military-technical cooperation with India became of special importance for the Republic of Armenia.

    Meanwhile, the MRASM is capable of accompanying and striking several targets at a distance of 70 kilometers, a joint product of the Indian company “DRDO” and the Israeli “IAI” (Israel Aerospace Industries) - manufactured in India, with some components of the complex purchased from Israel.

    How likely such a military deal is, given the difficult relations between Israel and Armenia, is difficult to say, because Israel is an ally of Azerbaijan, and recently confidently close to Türkiye, while Armenia does not hide its sympathies for the Jewish state’s most bitter enemy, Iran. Most likely, the Armenian side, declaring its intention to acquire weapons of Israeli-Indian production, is too far ahead of events, rushing to boast about such a friendship and such cooperation.

    At the same time, the military-technical contract for a total amount of $250 million, under which Armenia purchased multiple rocket launcher systems “Pinaka” and ATAGS self-propelled howitzers last autumn, shows that the long cherished plans by Yerevan to conclude military contracts and, at the same time, establish friendly relations with the largest state in the South Asian continent already have real contours. The official visit of Defence Minister Suren Papikian to New Delhi in October 2022 marked the beginning of this cooperation, desired by Yerevan.

    On the whole, the military-technical reorientation of Armenia in its current, far from enviable, situation towards India is quite logical and does not give rise to questions: everything is clear and an analysis is not required. However, it is India’s position that is perplexing. Even assuming that New Delhi deliberately escalates its relations with Azerbaijan and Türkiye, thus displaying dissatisfaction with the two countries' growing alliance with Pakistan (with which Indians have long-standing hostile relations due to the Kashmir dispute) this is not a very good reason to weigh relations with Yerevan on one hand, and with Azerbaijan and Türkiye on the other. By showing excessive generosity to Armenia, India has openly shown solidarity with the occupying country, thus encouraging Armenian separatism.

    But India’s military support for Armenia is unlikely to affect the military-strategic balance of power in the region, therefore New Delhi will merely spoil its relations with Baku and Ankara.

    Additionally, the American magazine Forbes reported the other day that Armenia is preparing to send 4 Su-30CM fighters it bought from Russia in 2019 to India, for equipping and upgrading their missiles. In other words, it seems that India is, in fact, becoming the main supplier of armaments to Armenia, and thus a real source of threat to the stability and security of the South Caucasus. Close military cooperation between Armenia and India can also negatively affect the stability of the region seeing as the strengthening of Yerevan’s military potential will inevitably be aimed at creating an explosive situation on the border with Azerbaijan and will become a powerful incentive for a new round of tension. This is not a new, larger-scale war in Karabakh though, since Armenia does not have the appropriate military and technical resources and trained army, for which it will need decades to build them. However, Armenia will undoubtedly at some point will try to re-stage a large-scale military provocation on the border with Azerbaijan, including the use of Indian weapons.

    It is not surprising, therefore, that throughout the entire period of Armenia’s occupation of Azerbaijani territories, the region resembled a powder keg and was armed to the teeth due to the aggressive policy of Yerevan. Without a doubt, the current power potentials of Azerbaijan and Armenia are fundamentally different, and given that Baku is increasing its military power every day, the equipment of the neighbouring country with new and modern types of weapons, including Indian ones, has no guarantee of success in the event of a resumption of hostilities in the region.

    Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev emphasized this in his recent interview to local TV channels. The head of state sent a clear message to Armenia regarding the fact that it began to actively arm itself, noting that “even if some weapons will be supplied to Armenia, this will not help it.

    I have repeatedly told to the Armenian side, that we should not waste money on this. Because, firstly, it will not help you, and secondly, it may create some illusion among the revanchist forces in your country. It can create the illusion that you will take revenge. You will not succeed! If we observe that we are in some serious danger, we will immediately eliminate this. Wherever this danger occurs - on our territory or abroad. It is our legitimate right”, Aliyev warned.

    This message, addressed to Armenia, is also addressed to the states promoting war and Armenian separatism. At the moment, the list of such states seems to be headed by India, clearly conceding even the ardent supporter of Armenian interests to Iran, and even the “sister” France. And how soon Tehran and New Delhi will have an epiphany is, unfortunately, a rhetorical question...


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