Armenia purchases 10 SU-25 fighters from Slovakia

Noyan Tapan news agency
7 Sep 04

Yerevan, 7 September: Azerbaijan newspaper Zerkalo has reported that
Slovakia has sold Armenia 10 SU-25 military jets. A Noyan Tapan
correspondent has tried to get details of the deal from the head
of the Armenian community of Slovakia, Ashot Grigoryan, who is on a
business visit in Armenia.

Grigoryan said that the deal was struck in August but fell through
at the initial stage, and the issue found its way into the Slovak
press since there were suspicions that the deal breached the law. In
particular, the major Slovak TV company Markiza carried reports in this
regard for several days in a row. The things reached a point where the
Ministry of Economy of Slovakia revoked the licence of the company
selling the planes and the government instructed the State Control
Committee to investigate terms of the deal and its legal aspects.

Grigoryan started negotiations on all official levels to renew the
deal. As a result, he received the consent of the Ministries of Defence
and Economy of Slovakia to strike the deal. Grigoryan said that after
the purchase of 10 (not 12) planes, Azerbaijan sent a note of protest
to the government of Slovakia.

Some interested parties put pressure on Slovakia at the initial stage
to sell the planes to Azerbaijan rather than Armenia. Thus, Armenia
has not only purchased modern military aircraft but also strengthened
political and economic ties with Slovakia, and disagreements between
Azerbaijan and Slovakia have aggravated. Doubtless this is the result
of Armenian-Slovak relations that have been steadily developing
recently.