The forthcoming agreement between Armenia and France is centered on military-technical cooperation, focusing on the acquisition of military equipment, rather than forming a military alliance. Armen Khachatryan, the Vice-Chairman of the Defense Commission from Armenia's "Civil Contract" party, clarified this in an interview with Azatutyun.
The announcement of the agreement was made by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs during a visit to Yerevan, where France expressed its intent to provide military equipment to Armenia.
Regarding the type of weapons Armenia expects to receive, Khachatryan mentioned that negotiations with France would cover the acquisition of new air defense systems. He emphasized the importance of defensive weapons and highlighted the need for training Armenian officers in military training institutions, which can be done with the help of France, too.
Khachatryan stressed the significance of addressing Armenia's air defense vulnerabilities, particularly exposed during the 44-day war. He mentioned the need to modernize and enhance the country's air defense capabilities, considering Armenia's unique geopolitical situation as a small country without significant territorial depth.
Khachatryan explained that negotiations with France would focus on these topics, but Armenia could also engage in negotiations with other partners.
Regarding the cost of the weapons, Khachatryan explained that there are no free acquisitions in the world of arms procurement. Armenia will need to pay for the equipment it acquires. He noted that while Armenia is financially capable of such acquisitions, the process is complex and time-consuming, taking approximately a year to complete. As of now, Armenia has not yet received any weapons from France.