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Armenia and France Army Chiefs Meet in Germany to Strengthen Military Ties

Armenia and France Army Chiefs Meet in Germany to Strengthen Military Ties

In a step towards strengthening military ties, Armenia's top general met with France’s ground army chief of staff in Germany on Tuesday. The meeting aimed at discussing the intensification of military cooperation between the two countries.

Lieutenant-General Eduard Asrian, the chief of the Armenian army’s General Staff, and French General Pierre Schill held talks on the sidelines of a conference of European army chiefs. The Armenian Defense Ministry reported that their discussions centered around "experience sharing and personnel training," highlighting the mutual interest in enhancing military collaboration.

The Defense Ministry in Yerevan announced that understandings were reached to further develop cooperation, though specifics were not disclosed. This meeting follows France's pledge last fall to provide military assistance to Armenia, which is part of a broader effort to deepen bilateral relations, strengthened by the influential Armenian community in France.

France's commitment includes the sale of sophisticated military hardware such as advanced radars, short-range air-defense systems, armored personnel carriers, and night-vision equipment. Some of this equipment had already been delivered by the time French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu visited Yerevan in February. During his visit, Lecornu announced the deployment of a French military adviser specializing in air defense to Armenia. This adviser will assist Armenia in neutralizing "possible strikes by potential aggressors," underscoring the defensive nature of the French-Armenian military cooperation, which has been criticized by Azerbaijan.

As part of the military assistance, France is also set to train Armenian military personnel. The French military plans to conduct three "mountain combat training courses" for Armenian soldiers this year, further enhancing Armenia’s defense capabilities.

Traditionally, Russia has been the principal source of weapons and ammunition for the Armenian army. However, with the deterioration of Russian-Armenian relations and Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, Armenia is increasingly seeking alternative sources for arms and military support. This shift marks a significant change in Armenia's defense strategy, indicating a growing reliance on Western allies like France.

The meeting between Asrian and Schill is a promising step towards a more robust military partnership between Armenia and France. As both countries work towards implementing the agreed-upon understandings, the collaboration is expected to enhance Armenia's military capabilities and provide a strategic counterbalance in the region.

The evolving military relationship between Armenia and France reflects broader geopolitical shifts and the changing dynamics of international alliances. With continued support and cooperation, Armenia aims to bolster its defense mechanisms and ensure greater security in an increasingly volatile region.


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