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Pashinyan: Armenia cannot rely on Russia, needs to consider other partners

by Martin Fornusek February 2, 2024 12:20 PM 2 min read
Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the meeting of the Supreme Economic Eurasian Council in Moscow, May 25, 2023. (Getty Images)
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Armenia's defense strategy cannot rely on Russia as it used to, and Yerevan needs to more closely examine security relations with the U.S., France, India, and other countries, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Feb. 1, the Armenpress news agency reported.

The prime minister has previously said that Moscow has not proven to be a reliable security partner, as Russian "peacekeepers" failed to prevent Azerbaijan's offensive into the Nagorno-Karabakh region last September.

Baku formally dissolved the unrecognized ethnic Armenian republic in Nagorno-Karabakh on Jan. 1. Over 100,000 ethnic Armenians fled the region.

"Previously, 95-97% of our defense sector relations were with the Russian Federation. Now, it cannot be the same, for both objective and subjective reasons," Pashinyan told Armenian Public Radio when discussing Armenia's military reforms.

Yerevan should reassess the concept of its defense strategy and consider what role countries like the U.S., France, India, Iran, or Georgia play in it, the prime minister said.

The country must also decide whether to remain a member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), he added.

As the rift between Armenia and Russia widens, Yerevan has been looking further west for allies, securing military aid from France.

Armenia also refused to participate in a CSTO summit in Minsk on Nov. 23, 2023, attracting criticism from Belarusian and Russian leaders.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova criticized Yerevan's overtures to the West, warning Pashinyan against "trying to sit on two chairs."

Russia’s ‘peacekeeper’ act crumbles as Azerbaijan overwhelms Nagorno-Karabakh
On Sept. 19, just under three years after the end of the last major war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Baku moved decisively to finish what it started in 2020. Shortly after the announcement of the launching of “anti-terrorist” measures by the Azerba…
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