The arrival of US soldiers for a peacekeeper training exercise in Armenia has rankled the Russian government, which has for decades acted as the sole security guarantor for the former Soviet republic. The 10-day “Eagle Partner” exercise, which began Monday, involves 85 US and 175 Armenian soldiers and aims to prepare the Armenians to take part in international peacekeeping missions.

The exercise, while small in scale, is the latest in a series of what Russia’s foreign ministry has deemed “unfriendly actions” taken by its traditional ally.

Armenia recently sent humanitarian aid to Ukraine for the first time, and its parliament is set to ratify the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute – meaning it would be obliged to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he were to set foot in the country, which Russia has long viewed as its own backyard.

Armenia’s flirtation with new international partners has been spurred by its frustration that Russia has been unable or unwilling to defend it against what it sees as aggression from neighboring Azerbaijan, and has raised questions about Russia’s ability to retain its hold on countries and conflicts across the former Soviet empire.

Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan said his country was beginning to taste the “bitter fruits” of the “strategic mistake” of trusting Russia with near-exclusive responsibility for his country’s defense.

“Armenia’s security architecture 99.999% was linked to Russia,” he told Italian newspaper La Repubblica earlier this month. “But today we see that Russia itself is in need of weapons… Even if it wishes so, the Russian Federation cannot meet Armenia’s needs.”

Edit: As Furball commented, Pashinyan is the Prime Minister of Armenia

  • AutoTL;DRB
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    99 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    The arrival of US soldiers for a peacekeeper training exercise in Armenia has rankled the Russian government, which has for decades acted as the sole security guarantor for the former Soviet republic.

    Since Pashinyan came to power in 2018 on the back of Armenia’s “Velvet Revolution” – an outpouring of anger against lingering corruption and cronyism in the former Soviet republic – his country has faced growing tensions with Azerbaijan.

    Dumoulin also pointed to the growing ties between Moscow and Baku – spurred by the personal relationship between Putin and Azerbaijan’s longtime President Ilham Aliyev – which may have come at Yerevan’s expense.

    It’s some 260 people armed with rifles – not heavy weaponry – gathering in Armenia for nine to 10 days, to improve what they call ‘the interoperability of peacekeeping forces,’” said Ter-Matevosyan, pointing to the routine nature of such exercises around the world.

    The Kremlin banned dairy imports from Armenia in April – ostensibly after some newly discovered health concerns, but in what Ohanyan suggested was a punishment for Yerevan considering the ICC ratification.

    For Ter-Matevosyan, the current Armenian government, whose “ideological roots come from… liberal Western values,” have taken this “opportune moment” to implement “some of their ideas, thoughts and beliefs that they cherished for many years.”


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