MOLDOVA DEFENSE MINISTER INSISTS ARMS SALE TO ARMENIA WAS LAWFUL AND RIGHT

epress.am
09.30.2011 17:56

Despite statements by Moldova's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Igor Bodiu
to the contrary, Moldova's defense minister Vitalie MarinuĊ£a insistes
that the deal involving the sale of arms and ammunition to Armenia is
lawful and right, reports Moldovan news agency OMEGA (OMG Media Group).

Earlier this week, the Moldovan Ambassador in Baku was summoned by
the Azerbaijani government to provide explanations for recent news
about his country secretly supplying (expired) weapons to Armenia. The
Moldovan authorities did not comment on the diplomatic incident.

However, after the conversation with the Azerbaijani government,
Ambassador Bodiu told members of the press that the sensational deal
"created an unpleasant moment in [Moldova-Azerbaijan] bilateral
relations." At the same time, Bodiu expressed hope that "this
unfortunate mistake" will in no way affect Azerbaijan-Moldova
relations.

As it later became known to sources of OMEGA, the transaction
was carried out by the Latvian company Latspetsexport, though
Latvian authorities deny the involvement of a Latvian company in the
arrangement. A number of Moldova officials have repeatedly said this
batch of weapons was purchased by Armenia.

Speaking on this matter, MarinuĊ£a, Moldova's defense minister,
declared that the agreement to ship 60 tons of arms (among them
anti-aircraft and anti-tank systems) "benefitted" the Moldovan party.

In turn, chair of the Parliamentary Commission on National Security,
Defense and Public Order Alexander Stoianoglo asserted that the
aircraft shipped arms to Armenia on the basis of a contract between
the Republic of Moldova and the Latvian company, and the contract
was implemented in accordance with Moldovan legislation. The deal,
according to Stoianoglu, was confirmed with the signature of Armenian
defense minister Seyran Ohanyan.

Armenia, in turn, claims that it has never purchased obsolete weapons.

Since independence, Armenia has never acquired expired weapons, press
secretary for Armenia's defense ministry David Karapetyan said earlier.

"For the needs of Armenia's Armed Forces, the procurement and
acquisition of weapons and military equipment are made under the
laws of the Republic [of Armenia] and relevant international norms
and obligations," he said.