Reports in semi official Russian media say that Russia is finalising a deal to transfer the sophisticated Iskander Missile system to Armenia. The Russian News Agency Itar-Tass reported that according to a military source "Russia is holding talks on supplies to Armenia of Iskander-M tactical missile systems, the contract has not been signed yet". He underscored that "all information on such contracts is secret."
Earlier, Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashinostroyeniya, or KBM (Machine-Building Design Bureau), which is the key manufacturer of Iskanders, said that the systems will not be exported until 2016. Nevertheless, they have been put on a list of products allowed to be sold abroad.
The news came on the same day that the Armenian Parliament approved an agreement through which Russia will give Armenia a loan of 200 million USD to be used to purchase Russian arms. The agreement was ratified after a vote with 98 votes in favour and 1 against. Zaruhi Postanjyan was the only member of parliament to vote against the loan.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies.
Photo: A missile being mounted on an Iskander launcher (photo courtesy of Itar-Tass).
Street protests continued in Yerevan on Thursday (19 April), and over one hundred persons were detained by police. Protestors are angry at the appointment of Serzh Sargsyan as Prime Minister at the end of his ten year stint as the country's president