May 22, 2017 - 16:30 AMT
Russia to supply Armenia, Belarus with helicopters, air defense systems

Head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Dmitry Shugaev announced on Sunday, May 21 that Russia will continue supplying defense products to Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in 2017, Sputnik International reports.

"Russia plans to supply its partners within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) with new weapon systems in 2017, including helicopters, air defense systems and armored vehicles," Sputnik cited Shugaev as saying.

According to Acting Secretary General of CSTO Valery Semerikov, the CSTO may implement a plan in the coming years prescribing arming its rapid response forces with weapons on a free of charge basis.

"The plan prescribing the types of military equipment and products and the time period they should be delivered to a specific state has been prepared and nearly coordinated with all the states; it was expected to take effect in 2015-2016. However, due to such troubles as crisis and sanctions, we took the decision to halt the implementation of this plan, but only regarding non-repayable supplies," Semerikov told reporters adding that the full resumption of the plan's implementation is possible in 2018-2019.

Russia would take the biggest share of financial burden in implementation of this plan, Semerikov added.

The CSTO was established on the basis of the Collective Security Treaty, signed by Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states on May 15, 1992. The bloc comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.