The Government of Armenia has announced this Wednesday that it will carry out joint military maneuvers with the United States next week, a fact that could cause discomfort in Russia and that comes after the Yerevan’s criticism of Moscow over the situation in Nagorno Karabakh.
The Armenian Ministry of Defense has detailed in a statement published on its website that the The ‘Eagle Partner 2023’ maneuvers will take place between September 11 and 20 and will involve “stabilization tasks between opposing parties during a pacification mission”.
“The objective of these maneuvers is to increase the level of interoperability in the unit that participates in international peacekeeping missions in the framework of peacekeeping operations, exchange best practices in control and tactical communication and increase the preparation of the Armenian unit for the evaluation of NATO operational capabilities”, he explained.
In this regard, he stressed that “in the framework of preparations for peacekeeping missions, units preparing for international peacekeeping operations frequently participate in similar joint maneuvers and training with partner countries.”
The announcement comes after the Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyanwill indicate during the weekend that Moscow had failed to protect Armenia from what it denounced as aggression by Azerbaijan, following the 2020 conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
In response, the Kremlin spokesman, Dimitri Peskovreported on Tuesday that “Russia is an integral part of this region” and defended that the country “plays a consistent and very important role in stabilizing the situation”, referring to the presence of peacekeeping troops after the 2020 ceasefire agreement.
It should be recalled that landlocked Armenia has close military ties to Russia, including hosting a Russian military base and participation in the alliance of the Collective Security Treaty Organization led by Moscow.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have exchanged in recent months numerous accusations of violation of the 2020 ceasefire, which ended the Second Nagorno Karabagh War -after the 1994 war-. The conflict ended in victory for Azerbaijan, which recovered territories taken by Armenia in the First Nagorno Karabagh War, including the important city of Shusha.
Since then, both countries have maintained various contacts to try to sign a peace agreement, although the talks have encountered various obstacles, including the situation around the Lachín corridor, which connects Armenia with the self-proclaimed republic of Arstaj. The area has the presence of Russian soldiers deployed as peacekeepers under the aforementioned ceasefire agreement.
This year, Armenia refused to allow CSTO exercises on its territory and refused to send troops to the bloc’s ongoing exercises in Belarus.
(with information from EuropaPress and AP)