A ten-day military exercise is currently taking place in Armenia, in which, in addition to 175 Armenians, 85 American members of the Kansas National Guard are participating.
The exercise is taking place at a sensitive time of tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan, when Russian peacekeeping troops are expected to provide aid to the Armenian population in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. In Armenia, however, they are not satisfied with Russian aid.
A diplomatic dispute broke out between Moscow and Yerevan due to the military exercise.
Russia, which has a military base in Armenia, should protect its people, as both countries are members of the CSTO defense organization, but it is not doing so, they are convinced in Yerevan. They are appalled by the fact that Russian peacekeepers have allowed Azerbaijan to set up a checkpoint that prevents the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Moscow abandons obligations in the Caucasus because of Ukraine,” said the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and added that the connection with Russia was a strategic mistake.
They stopped their ears in Moscow. Not only because of the Prime Minister’s statement, they were also stung by his wife’s visit to Kiev, the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and now a joint military exercise with the United States. In Moscow, they recalled their ambassador from Yerevan.
Vladimir Putin however, at the economic forum in Vladivostok, he denied any crisis in Russian-Armenian relations: “There are no problems with Armenia, I speak with Nikol Pashinyan on the phone,” he said, but noted that Armenia itself recognized Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh, so it should behave accordingly.
At slightly lower levels, however, statements are not so diplomatic. Putin’s propagandist Vladimir Solovyov predicts that if it explodes in Georgia, it will explode in Armenia, and then they won’t stop at Tbilisi. In his opinion, Russia will thus get a land route to Iran.
In the meantime, they heard from the US State Department. According to their representative Matthew Miller America’s short-term interest is the removal of the Azerbaijani control point, and long-term a peaceful solution to the crisis in the Caucasus region.