Armenia provokes arms scandal with Russia

Thu 24 Oct 2019 17:20 GMT | 21:20 Local Time

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Russia will send a letter to Armenia over a disruption of an arms tender, in which Russian weaponry manufacturer ORSIS participated, and ask Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan to settle the situation, according to the document, whose copy was shared with RIA Novosti.

In August, a criminal case has been opened under the article neglect of service after the failure of the tender by the Armenian Defense Ministry for the supply of arms worth several million dollars to Armenia. The tender launched in May was won by ORSIS. But later the tendering process was canceled without giving any reasons. Subsequently, this information was officially confirmed by the Armenian Defense Ministry.

An informed source claims that the note has been received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the near future it will be transmitted through diplomatic channels to Yerevan, Vestnik Kavkaza reports.

The note, signed on October 22 by Russian Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Оleg Ryazantsev and addressed to the Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan, reads that ORSIS' application for participating in the tender had been dismissed "without any compelling grounds," while the company was "included in the list of unfair contractors [of the Armenian Armed Forces] for no reason."

The note also says that the Armenian Defense Ministry "illegally appealed to the bank demanding payment of a bank guarantee for participation in the tender", although by law the company had to pay such compensation if it won the tender and itself refused to sign the contract.

"I ask you to look into this situation and give instructions on the adoption of measures aimed at resolving it," the document reads.

Editor-in-chief of 'National Defense' magazine Igor Korotchenko, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the situation fits into the trend of scandalization of relations between Armenia and Russia. "This case is a local, but a very unpleasant incident. And it fits into the general deterioration of Russian-Armenian relations. Armenia is very interested in Russian weapons, another thing is that its financial and economic situation does not allow buying what they would like," he pointed out.

"Now we need to look at Yerevan’s reaction because a lot will depend on it. If Yerevan takes an unconstructive position, this is one situation, but if it somehow resolves this incident, it will be a different situation. Therefore, we are waiting for the Ministry of Defense to respond to a note from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. On the whole, it will be to a certain extent a landmark moment for our relations," Igor Korotchenko drew attention.

The editor-in-chief of the newspaper 'Journalistic Truth', Vladislav Shurigin, suggested that failure of the tender may be related to the corruption scheme in the Armenian military circles.

"The fact that Yerevan closed the tender is their internal problem. We drew attention to this, respectively, for the Armenian side it is a cause to conduct an investigation. Rather, it is a corruption problem, when someone from the Armenian Ministry of Defense took a bribe in order to disrupt this order and, apparently, push it in favor of the other side. So we are waiting for the other side to come up," Vladislav Shurygin said.

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