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France Sends Military Equipment to Armenia

France Sends Military Equipment to Armenia

France will send military equipment to Armenia as the country  moves away from Russia’s orbit and faces tensions with its neighbour Azerbaijan, said French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna during a visit to Yerevan on Tuesday evening.

“France has agreed to deepen future contracts with Armenia for the delivery of military equipment to enable Armenia to defend itself,” she said during a press conference. She declined to elaborate details about the types of gear France would provide. Azerbaijan ended a long-going, unresolved dispute in late September by organising an anti-terror operation in Karabakh. In recent months, Paris has been looking to deepen defence cooperation with Yerevan as Armenia increasingly breaks from longtime ally Russia since President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

French President Emmanuel Macron said last week on a interview that France will provide an unconditional support to Armenia.

In late September, France stated that France a military attaché would be appointed to Armenia. Over the weekend, French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu said in an interview that the newly created defence mission at the embassy would engage day-to-day with the Armenian armed forces and authorities to “assess their needs, particularly in defence and protection.” Paris has already given Armenia $13.08 million in humanitarian aid, and French officials have supported imposing EU sanctions on Baku. However, they admit that the EU hesitates to do so just a year after the bloc agreed to a major energy deal to replace Russian supplies following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Karabakh is recognised internationally as part of Azerbaijan but has operated as a separate ethnic Armenian statelet since the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.