In an unexpected development this month, Armenia is set to hold a Joint Military Exercises with the United States, a move that has prompted Russia, a long-time supporter of Armenia and a fellow member of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), to express its “concern.”
Armenian Joint Military Exercises with US Raises Russian Concern
According to Newsweek, Armenia is scheduled to organize a joint military exercises with US in the coming week, a move that has raised concerns from Russia, a long-standing supporter of Armenia and a fellow member of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). This exercise, known as “Eagle Partner 2023,” though expected to be small in scale, appears to signal Armenia’s gradual shift away from Moscow’s influence, driven by Moscow’s inability to resolve the ongoing Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The drill will involve 85 American soldiers and 175 Armenians, all from the Kansas National Guard, with a 20-year history of collaboration in joint military exercises with US. Importantly, it has been confirmed that heavy weaponry will not be part of the exercise. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov expressed concern about this development and announced plans for further analysis and monitoring of the situation.
Moreover, recent strained Moscow-Armenia relations are closely tied to the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Despite the presence of Russian peacekeepers, tensions persist, particularly concerning the closed Lachin Corridor, which has resulted in food shortages.
The removal of Russia’s peacekeeping head in 2023 underscores Russia’s challenges in maintaining regional stability amidst the ongoing Joint Military Exercises with the US.
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Armenia’s Shifting Alliances: Factors Contributing to a Departure from Moscow Amidst Joint Military Exercises with US
In an article published by ALJAZEERA, Armenia’s participation in Joint Military Exercises with US signifies a significant shift away from Moscow’s influence. This change results from Moscow’s inability to effectively resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Prime Minister Pashinyan acknowledges Armenia’s overreliance on Russian security, prompting diversification efforts, such as refusing CSTO exercises and procuring weapons from France.
Additionally, Armenia’s proposal to ratify the Rome Statute and Anna Hakobyan’s participation in a Kyiv aid summit reflect a diplomatic shift toward Western engagement amidst the Joint Military Exercises with the US.