Will US sanctions against Russia’s defense industry affect Armenia?




Will the US sanctions against the Russian defense industry complex affect Armenia? Opinions are divided on the issue, which has been widely discussed in Armenia.

Russian military expert Vladimir Yevseyev says the US sanctions will apply to Russian companies only, and it is impossible for them to spread over Russia’s partners from the legislative point of view.

“It’s more likely the US will not impose sanctions against the countries that buy Russian weapons,” the expert said at a discussion hosted by the Media Center.

He believes there will be no direct influence, but considers the US will use other levers against those countries, e.g. suspension of financial assistance.  According to Yevseyev, this may apply to Armenia, among others, and advises the Armenian lobby in the US to take action. Besides, he says, two buyers of Russian weapons – Armenia and Azerbaijan should not be put on the same level.

“It has to be brought to Congressmen that the sanctions should not affect Armenia, which is in a state of isolation,” the expert said.

President of the Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC), political scientist Stepan Grigoryan is confident that the US sanctions against the Russian military complex are a result of the latter’s policy in Ukraine, therefore, have nothing to do with Armenia and the Armenian people.

To him, all discussions on the topic are senseless. “What do we have to do with those sanctions?”

The political scientist notes that Armenia has good relations with Russia, and none of the deals are in the shadow, i.e. when Armenia gets weapons from Russia, it’s never secret, it’s official. Besides, he says, Armenia does not violate the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). Therefore, there is no threat for Armenia, especially considering the volume of weapons concerned.

Military expert Karen Vrtanesyan says the sanctions can affect Armenia “only theoretically,” but the probability is small.

“The US is well aware that Armenia has to cooperate with Russia in the military domain, whether it wants or not. Besides, they have a good understanding of the Russian-Azerbaijani military cooperation,” Vrtanesyan said. He is confident sanctions will bypass Azerbaijan, as well.

Armenian experts say it’s a struggle between ‘big players,’ which we have nothing to do with. They don’t think there is a need for the Armenian side to take any actions in this regard.

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