Nevertheless, France has chosen to provide military and technical support to Armenia, which to a certain extent has marked a new page in the history of the region. Military expert Shair Ramaldanov spoke about French arms deliveries to Armenia in an interview with Minval.az.
Let us first explain to our readers what lethal weapons are.
The word “lethal” comes from the Greek word “leta”, meaning “death”. Therefore, a lethal weapon is a deadly, killing weapon. What belongs in this category? This type of weapon includes all small arms and other types of weapons the use of which can destroy a conventional enemy. You may ask then, what are non-lethal weapons? Non-lethal weapons are ammunition, helmets, and so on. In today’s world they also include weapons used against UAVs and robotics that have no personnel in them. That is, the destruction of this equipment does not entail human casualties.
How legitimate is it for France to send arms to Armenia? After all, there are no legal documents between the countries that would allow Paris to supply its weapons to Armenia?
France supports Armenia by all means, contrary to international law, or rather, Paris is not particularly concerned about international law. This has always been the case, both during the occupation and after it. France’s relationship with Armenia is outside international law.
In today’s world, the purchase and sale of weapons is a matter of commerce. There are many arms exhibitions where new types of weapons are demonstrated. It is there that contracts for the purchase of weapons are signed. There are certain types of weapons that are banned, its sale and distribution is a political matter. France has a strong military-industrial complex and produces armaments.
Today the arms market is quite open for sales and purchases. For example, when it came to Turkish Bayraktars that turned up in Ukraine, Türkiye said that the UAVs, which used to be Turkish, were now Ukrainian. This is the right answer in line with today’s arms market. Every country with a military-industrial complex produces weapons not only for domestic needs, but also for sale. The Azerbaijani defense industry has signed arms supply contracts with 20 countries. Therefore, the issue of French arms deliveries to Armenia is a matter of commerce, not politics. I think there is no need to be dramatic about it.
First of all, this is just a political wordplay to show that France supports Armenia. And secondly, how can France supply arms to Armenia, through what logistics? This is a costly process. Paris has no land routes to deliver arms to Armenia. On the other hand, modern weapons must be adapted to the entire weapon system. Considering that over 90% of weapons in Armenia are Russian, there is no way French arms can be adapted to it. I am talking about arms to be integrated with the fire control system. Fire control is the cornerstone.
On the other hand, France cannot in a short period of time supply enough weapons to Armenia to change the balance of power in the region, or to replace the Russian weapons there. For example, Indian weapons are more adapted to Russian weapons than French ones. Therefore, even if some weapons do get to Armenia, they will not be of strategic importance.
In the capitalist world, money talks. Armenia is not a country capable of purchasing modern weapons. Maybe it will buy some old weapons. However, given the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, one should not expect tangible military assistance from Western countries to countries like Armenia. This fact will not change anything for Azerbaijan. Armenia is not able yet to rearm and retaliate against Azerbaijan, nor will it in the next decade. Azerbaijan allocates far more funds for the modernization of the army and the purchase of modern types of weapons.
Armenia is not a threat to Azerbaijan at the moment. In military terms, Armenia can be a threat only to itself, because its policy calls into question the existence of the state of Armenia itself.
But this is a question of politics, not economic payoff. France’s decision is motivated by its policy in the region rather than by economic factors. How can this affect the balance of power in the region?
Armenia is inferior to Azerbaijan politically as well. Armenia is being used by various countries for leverage in the region. Ilham Aliyev’s policy meets all needs and is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests. No one could imagine the President would give the order in 2020 and we would liberate our territories. A man who was able to liberate our territories will do everything to protect the interests of the state.
Translated from Minval.az