On March 6, Head of international news agency Rossiya Segodnya Dmitri Kiselyov and famous Russian TV host Vladimir Solovyov held a press conference in “Sputnik Armenia” media center in Yerevan.
One of the main messages of the Kremlin propaganda leaders referred to the supply of weapons to Azerbaijan by Russia, and the main goal was mitigating the Armenian public reaction to that circumstance and, moreover, convincing them that sales of weapons to Azerbaijan by Russia is beneficial to Armenia.
By and large, the speakers represented the official position of Moscow, i.e. arms sales is just a business and if Russia does not sell weapons to Azerbaijan, others will.
However, in reality, Kiselyov and Solovyov went further in Yerevan and pushed forward some other “details”.
For instance, developing his thoughts on the trade of arms, Dmitri Kiselyov said the following: “Russia gets real money from arms sales to Azerbaijan, develops its military industry and provides weapons to Armenia” (from 7:25 minute in the video).
Another interesting highlight the speakers brought from Moscow was the thesis that if Russia does not sell weapons to Azerbaijan, the United States will. This idea was expressed by Solovyov (9:23). Another noteworthy statement by Kiselyov and Solovyov consists in that Russia maintains some levers of influence on Baku by having arms trade with Azerbaijan.
Nevertheless, the claims of these propagandist gentlemen are far from being true. After April war, it is ridiculous to talk about Russian-Azerbaijani military trade being beneficial to Armenia in any possible way. No matter how loudly Moscow speaks of arms trade as business only, last year the Armenian society fully realized that Armenian soldiers die from the use of Russian weapons and that Azerbaijan would have never even thought of attacking Karabakh if it had not had such offensive weapons purchased from Russia.
Regarding arms supply to Armenia, Yerevan simply purchases it from Russia, like Baku does. In spite of the circumstance that in some cases Armenia gets the arms supplies by loan agreements, the reality is that the weapons are purchased and Moscow never provides them for free to Yerevan.
The speaker’s other view that if Russia does not sell weapons to Azerbaijan, the United States will does not have anything to do with reality since the United States refuses to supply any weapons to the conflict sides.
It is a long time Russia and Azerbaijan have had military cooperation. As it is known, Azerbaijan has purchased weapons worth 5 billion USD from Russia during the last five years. Of course, such a large-scale military trade turnover generates levers of influence on both parties. But the recent developments show that Moscow’s levers were powerless to stop the April bloodshed while Baku’s levers were influential enough to receive a carte blanche for initiating such actions.