Everyone says that Russia sells weapons to Armenia at “internal prices”, transferring old weapons from warehouses either cheaply or practically free of charge. And this is actually true. Only here, the devil as always hides in the details. The rule of life works 100%: you have to pay for EVERYTHING. All these “gifts” are a blatant lie.
Russia pays money for its military objects in Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan. For the 102nd military base in Armenia, not a single ruble or dollar is paid by them. And the Armenian side pays for all the utilities as well. And this base is necessary for both Armenia and Russia almost equally. Otherwise, it simply would not exist. Here, we omit the sum.
Now, natural gas. Armenia after Belarus receives gas with the biggest discount. $150 per thousand cubes at the border. Armenia imports 1920 million cubic meters of gas from Russia per year. The beauty is that Gazprom-Armenia, the company which receives and delivers this gas to the final consumer in Armenia, is fully owned by the Russian Gazprom.
As a result of wonderful miracles from Gazprom-Armenia, the Armenian consumer pays for gas more than $300 per thousand cubic meters. More than Georgians, for example. And not only. If you remove all the real costs and other yada yada yada, it turns out that Gazprom rips off here at least $288 million a year.
At the same time, despite the membership of Armenia in the Eurasian Economic Union, Russia and Gazprom are demanding payment only in foreign currency, not agreeing to rubles.
That being said, now you tell: does Russia really supply Armenia with a 300 million worth of their latest weapons annually? Of course not.
It turns out that all the cheap weapons and other stuff are tales for silly children. If someone finds errors in my calculations and does them more competently, I will be glad to admit my error.
If you look at the structure of Armenia’s external debt, you can see how much loans from Russia are borrowed, and how much is borrowed from various world financial institutions. And everything becomes clear. For comparison, the United States annually provides military aid worth of $5 billion to its military ally Israel free of charge!
Here, I want to clarify something for those who easily get offended. I am absolutely not in favor of Armenia cutting off their relations with Russia and completely switching to the other side. First of all, because it isn’t practically possible now and in the near future.
I am an absolute supporter of good relations with Russia where the interests of the sides are fully taken into account. Now, Russian-Armenian relations are absolutely sick and sham, and they will not end well. Well, if they aren’t revised in time. But there are no visible prerequisites for this at the moment.
A small analysis of the Armenian-Russian relations from Artush Mkrtchyan