NEW SCANDAL INFLAMES MOLDOVA INVOLVING ARMS SALE TO ARMENIA

epress.am
12.29.2011

A new scandal involving the sale of arms to Armenia has erupted in the
Moldovan capital of Chisinau. In September, the country's parliament
demanded the government explain why the Defense Ministry is supplying
arms to a region with unresolved conflicts, after which the deal was
frozen. However, Moldovan Security Council Chair Yuri Rikichinsky
recently tried to resurrect the deal, which was immediately condemned
by MPs, reports Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Rikichinsky was called to parliament on Tuesday to provide explanations
on a letter sent to parliamentary speaker Marian Lupu in which he
requested assistance in completing the sale of arms from the National
Army's arsenal. The deal refers to about 20 tons of rockets and
missiles, which Moldova's Ministry of Defense is to deliver to Armenia.

An expert with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed
Forces (DCAF), Viorel Cibotaru, in an interview with the Russian
publication, noted that the deal became a scandal because it was kept
secret even from parliament, and more importantly, "Chisinau did not
hold preliminary talks on this issue with Baku, which closely follows
what is happening around Karabakh." This, according to the expert, is
the main shortcoming of the country's leadership. Also, they "didn't
secure a reliable [partner] for the route of delivery, as a result of
which misunderstandings arose with Latvia," said Cibotaru. Otherwise,
in his view, all was within the framework of international norms -
Moldova had the right to sell weapons, including those of the type
specified in the Defense Ministry list.

Recall, during a Parliamentary Commission on National Security meeting
it was announced that the deal cost $3 million 250 thousand USD.

Speaking on the matter to Epress.am earlier, Armenian Ministry of
Defense spokesperson David Karapetyan said: "To meet the needs of
Armenia's Armed Forces, the procurement and acquisition of weapons
and military equipment are carried out under the laws of the Republic
[of Armenia] and relevant international norms and obligations,"
adding that in the interests of national security, the Ministry of
Defense does not disclose details of the quantity or types of arms
it purchases and from which country.