YEREVAN — Armenia’s Defense Ministry has announced that it has S-300 air defense missiles and says it made the announcement to remind neighboring Azerbaijan of the dangers of renewing the military conflict, according to the Associated Press.
Tensions remained high between the two countries over the unresolved status of Nagorno-Karabakh, a region that lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of Armenian troops and ethnic Armenian forces since a six year separatist war ended in 1994.
Russia has long maintained the S-300s on its base in Armenia, but last Wednesday’s announcement was the first acknowledgment that Armenia has missiles of its own. It is not clear how long Armenia has had them.
Defense Ministry spokesman David Karapetyan said the missiles would “coerce Azerbaijan into keeping the peace.”