Pashinyan will lead his country to another military tragedy
    Russian pundits comment on US-Armenia drills

    INTERVIEWS  12 September 2023 - 17:00

    Matanat Nasibova


    The Eagle Partner 2023 joint military exercise with the United States is taking place in Armenia, which has caused Russia's sharp criticism, with Moscow expressing "concern" several times over the past week. It should be noted, however, that Moscow's irritation with this event, especially amid Yerevan's out-and-out refusal to participate in the CSTO exercises, is quite justified: Armenia, its closest ally in the South Caucasus, which the Russian Federation perceived as its outpost, is now openly drawing Americans into the region, pursuing, of course, their own strategic goals.

    Russian military experts shared their opinion with Caliber.Az on what consequences of the Armenian-American military exercises Yerevan can expect from Moscow.

    According to Alexei Khlopotov, the Armenian-American exercises should be regarded as blackmail by Yerevan against Moscow, an attempt to show its independence and ability to play a double game.

    "That is, Yerevan is trying to show that it is friends with both Moscow and Washington. Where will this lead to? In principle, nothing in particular... The fact is that Moscow is now very interested in cooperation with Armenia precisely through parallel imports. As you know, the volume of goods that are now going through this country has grown many times over and accounts for an appreciable share of Armenia's budget. Accordingly, Russia cannot give up this way either. Therefore, one way or another, Moscow and Yerevan will have to cooperate and tolerate each other. So it is clear that the current move on the part of Yerevan is a form of blackmail and will not end well for it. This whole tangle is going on as long as Moscow is bogged down in Ukraine. As soon as the issue of Ukraine is resolved, I think Moscow will deal with Armenia if by that time Baku will not raise its flag in Yerevan," Alexei Khlopotov believes.

    Vladislav Shurygin is of a different opinion. He is convinced that the Armenian-American manoeuvres mean nothing.

    "I would not exaggerate the significance of the Armenian-American exercises, as they are nothing special except for the fact that there is a huge hype within the Armenian and pro-American agenda. Simply put, they are trying to pass these exercises off as Armenia's particular shift towards the United States. A logical question arises: how can Armenia be turned towards the US if Armenia does not have a single square metre of borders with any of the countries that could provide it with support from NATO, the US, or France on their territory?

    The only more or less sane route appears to be through Georgia, but it is unlikely to get involved in any escalation of conflict in the region. Therefore, Armenia's internal schizophrenic policy means exactly nothing.

    The fact that Armenia refused to participate in the CSTO exercises is also an indicator for Russia that the current Yerevan leadership and its entourage are trying to keep their boots in three camps. But it's impossible. It is clear to Moscow that Armenia is militarily insolvent and not self-sufficient, and Pashinyan may lead the country to another military tragedy.

    And then all these games that the Armenian prime minister is playing may turn out badly for Yerevan. Pashinyan already bears full responsibility for the lost war, which he himself started. And the continuation of such a policy is a path to suicide. Russia is unlikely to make any harsh conclusions because it is a very restrained country and never tries to rush somewhere.

    Russia understands that it has a very big responsibility for the region, it is the guarantor of the peacekeeping process, and the Russian peacekeeping forces continue to fulfill their mission in the region regardless of who and how will accuse it of something or try to squeeze it out. Russia is unlikely to help Pashinyan in any difficult circumstances, say, in the case of any political process inside Armenia. This will not happen. Rather, Russia will wait for the Armenian leader to be replaced," Shurygin summed up, adding that it is more important for Moscow to maintain friendly relations with Azerbaijan, which will allow it to act as a peacemaker in this conflict.


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