With its rejection of NATO, China presents Armenia with military equipment

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China delivered giftware to a military unit in Armenia, a spokesman for the Armenian Ministry of Defense Artsrun Hovhannisyan said on Saturday.

The spokesman added that Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan and the Chinese ambassador to Yerevan, Tian Erlong, paid a visit to the military unit to check the equipment.

The report published on an official Facebook page claims the visit also had the presence of the Defense attache at the embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Colonel Zhang Fenghua.

The spokesman did not specify, however, which types of equipment were delivered by China to the Armenian military , let alone the quantity.

Hovhannisyan also said that the Armenian Defense Minister thanked Beijing for its active assistance and cooperation with Armenia.

It must be remembered that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said last year that his country had no plans to join NATO.

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“We have no plans to be NATO members,” Pashinyan told reporters at the time.

Pashinyan’s announcement comes after the Prime Minister’s alliance My Step had won the parliamentary election with more than 70% of the vote.

Armenia has been at odds for decades with Azerbaijan over control of Nagorno-Karabakh, a region mostly occupied by ethnic Armenians who declared war on Baku in 1991 for independence. The European Union has been on Azerbaijan’s side by failing to recognize the region’s independence. However, the same EU supported Pashinyan’s rise to power and promised the nation “concrete support” for reforms, including through technical and financial assistance.

Approximately 4,500 people have disappeared in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan in the last 15 years, according to the head of the communications program of the Yerevan Red Cross delegation, Zara Amatuni.

“These figures are based only on the reports of the families of these people,” said Amatuni, “for their families, they are still alive,” as quoted by News.am.

According to the Red Cross official, her organization takes care every year to pay special attention to this problem, which is considered a high priority.

“In the Nagorny-Karabakh conflict, this problem is no exception, the Red Cross is working with all parties to the conflict and we have collected data based on the contacts with the families.The corresponding committee in three parts has a list of people disappeared,” he added.

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