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Armenia signs arms deal with India amid Azerbaijan tensions

Order includes first-ever export by India of indigenous Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers

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Armenia in September ordered heavy weapons from India worth an estimated $245 million, according to Indian news outlet Economic Times.

Order includes missiles, rockets and ammunition amid escalating tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which was largely liberated from Armenian occupation in late 2020.

Quoting sources, the Economic Times said the order includes the first-ever export of the indigenous Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers that are also used by the Indian army, as well as anti-tank rockets and a range of ammunition.

India in 2020 had supplied four Swathi radars to Armenia in the heat of the Karabakh war with Azerbaijan, at the end of which Armenia accepted defeat and was forced to sign a peace treaty brokered by Russia.

Karabakh war

Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions – Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Qubadli, and Zangilan.

Read more: Azerbaijan to buy Pakistan’s JF-17s but Armenia rejects India’s Tejas?

Large-scale clashes erupted in the Karabakh region on Sept. 27, 2020, when the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, violating several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

Azerbaijan then launched a counter-offensive operation, later dubbed “Iron Fist,” which led to the 44-day conflict ending with the liberation of Azerbaijani lands from the occupation of the Armenian forces. The fighting ended with a deal brokered by Russia.

Read more: Russians supplied arms to Armenia during 2020 war

In Nagorno-Karabakh, where officials also declared martial law and ordered citizens to mobilise, ombudsman Artak Beglaryan said “there are civilian casualties” among the population in the region. Separately, a spokesman for the Armenian defence ministry said an Armenian woman and child had been killed in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk