India-Armenia Exports deal Amid ongoing conflict!!

  • India has signed a significant export order for missiles, rockets and ammunition to Armenia as the Asian nation is engaged in a prolonged border conflict with neighbour Azerbaijan.
  • The order includes the first-ever export of the indigenous Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers that are already in service with the Indian Army. India will also supply anti-tank rockets as well as a range of ammunition to Armenia under the bundled deal.
  • While the value of the contracts has not been revealed, it is estimated that weapons worth over Rs 2,000 crore will be supplied to the country over the coming months. India has been making significant efforts to incred weapons exports, with policy reforms and active support of the government to secure overseas orders.

Swathi Radar

  • The Swathi system enables soldiers to automatically detect the location from where enemy weapons like mortars, shells and rockets are being fired up to a distance of 50 kilometers. The Indian Army has been using weapon locating radars for its operations along the line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict:

  • Conflict between Armenia & Azerbaijan is over Nagorno-Karabakh region. The conflict is between two relatively small countries and is territorial in nature.
  • Several regional and global players particularly Russia, Europe, Turkey and Iran are also involved to secure their strategic, security and economic interests in the region. As the strategic importance of the region is derived from energy exports, the stability of the region is very important for regional growth and oil importing countries like India.


  • Nagorno-Karabakh, the center of the conflict, is located within Azerbaijan but is populated, mostly, by those of Armenian ethnicity. They are mostly Christian compared to the Shim Muslim majority Azerbaijan.
  • The conflict can be traced back to the pre-Soviet era when the region was at the meeting point of Ottoman, Russian and the Persian empires. Once Azerbaijan and Armenia become Soviet Republics in 1921, Soviet Union gave NagornoKarabakh to Azerbaijan but offered autonomy to the contested region.
  • In the 1980s, when the Soviet power was receding, separatist currents picked up in Nagorno-Korabakh. In 1988, the National assembly voted to dissolve the region’s autonomous status and join Armenia. However, Azerbaijan suppressed such calls, which led to o military conflict.

Triggering Moment

  • The self-declaration of independence by NagornoKarabakh in September 1991 in the backdrop of an imminent collapse of the USSR resulted in a war between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh – supported by Armenia.
  • A ceasefire agreement was reached in 1994, mediated largely by Russia. By that time, Armenia had taken control of ‘H Nagorno-Karabakh and handed it to Armenian rebels.

Condition in present

  • The rebels have declared independence, but have not won recognition from any country. The region is still treated as a part of Azerbaijan by the international community, and Azerbaijan wants to take it back.
  • Sporadic clashes between Azeri and Armenian forces have repeatedly erupted in the area, but the fighting that began on 13th September was the most serious since the 2020. Russia moved quickly to help negotiate an end to hostilities, but a cease-fire it tried to broker has failed to hold and clashes have continued.

Strategic Significance of the region

  • The energy-rich Azerbaijan has built several gas and oil pipelines across the Caucasus (the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea) to Turkey and Europe. Some of these pipelines pass close to the conflict zone (within 16 km of the border).

India’s Interests & Challenges:

  • With Armenia, India has a friendship and cooperation treaty (signed in 1995), which, incidentally, would prohibit India from providing military or any other assistance to Azerbaijan. In the case of Azerbaijan, ONGC/OVL has made investments in an oilfield project in Azerbaijan and GAIL is exploring the possibilities of cooperation in LNG.
  • Azerbaijan also falls on the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) route, connecting India with Russia through Central Asia. It can also connect India with Turkey and beyond through the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars passenger and freight rail link

On Kashmir

  • Armenia extends its unequivocal support to India on Kashmir issue whereas Azerbaijan not only opposes but also promotes Pakistan’s narrative on this issue.
  • India does not have a publicly articulated policy for the South Caucasus – unlike “Neighborhood First”, “Act East” or “Central Asia Connect”. The region has remained on the periphery of its foreign policy radar.

Balancing between the two

  • The conflict is essentially a conflict between two international principles viz. the principle of territorial integrity advocated by Azerbaijan and the principle of the right to self-determination invoked by Nagorno-Karabakh and supported by Armenia.
  • India has every reason not to support Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity as Azerbaijan has shown scant regard for India’s territorial integrity violated by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.:
  • At the same time it is difficult for India to publicly endorse Nagorno-Karabakh is right for self-determination. It can have repercussions for India as its adversaries like Pakistan may misuse it not only by making erroneous connections with Kashmir but also reignite secessionist movement in certain parts of India.

Sodhi Gautam

Sodhi Gautam

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