Armenia’s Ministry of Defense has categorically denied rumors that Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan sold arms to Turkey via a private company and that the weapons eventually turned up in the hands of pro-Turkish terrorists in Syria.
The allegations appeared in the Armenian press today.
The allegations center around a $3.5 million loan the Armenian Defense Ministry gave to a private company headed by someone who supposedly is Tonoyan’s friend.
The ministry says it provided the loan to ensure the continuity of arms supplies to Armenia from a third country.
“Moreover, at the time of the loan, the company had already supplied a part of the ordered weapons, the value of which was higher than the given loan. The total value of the transaction was many times more than the amount of the mentioned loan,” the ministry’s statement reads.
The ministry also denied the allegation that it turned down an offer to purchase body armor jackets at $300 apiece from Russia and then, through another private company, purchased the same item at $1,000 per unit.
Another allegation denied by the ministry is that Tonoyan was in the Maldives on September 27, when the war started, to attend a relative’s birthday party.
“It’s an overt and brazen lie. The day before the start of the war, David Tonoyan was in Kazakhstan to take part in the Caucasus-2020 multinational military exercise, about which an official statement was issued. As soon as the war started, the Minister of Defense returned to Armenia, through Bulgaria, due to the coronavirus epidemic and limited air routes. This fact can be easily verified through relevant inquiries,” the ministry writes.