Armenia-Russia Relations: Evaluating Alliances and Security Systems

2023-09-24 13:05:49

In a veiled message to Moscow that would increase the distance between… Armenia And Russia, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed on Sunday that his country’s current alliances are “useless,” noting that the relations between the two countries are long and inherited since Armenia was part of the former Soviet Union.

Pashinyan explained in a televised speech, “The external security systems in which Armenia is part have proven to be useless for protecting its security and interests.”

He added: “Armenia has never abandoned its commitments or betrayed its allies. But the analysis of the situation shows that the security systems and allies that we have relied on for a long time have set themselves the task of demonstrating our weakness and the inability of the Armenian people to have an independent state.”

Deep differences between Yerevan and Moscow

Armenia is still a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance headed by Russia, but it has previously shown signs of moving away from Moscow even before the Azerbaijani army’s attack this week on Nagorno-Karabakh, which may accelerate its exit from the Russian sphere of influence.

Concern has been prevalent in Yerevan for months about Russia’s inability to support Armenia in the face of Azerbaijan, and the lack of commitment of the Russian peacekeeping force in the conflict between the two neighboring countries.

Armenia, which in January refused to host CSTO exercises, held military exercises with the United States this month, much to Moscow’s dismay.

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In May 2023, the Armenian Prime Minister raised the possibility of Armenia’s withdrawal from the CSTO, against the backdrop of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

Azerbaijan and Armenia, the two former Soviet republics, fought two wars to control the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is inhabited by a majority of Armenians, the first in the 1990s and the second in 2020.

Russia sponsored a ceasefire agreement that ended the fighting in 2020, and deployed a peacekeeping force there that did not prevent a lightning attack by Azerbaijani forces this week.

France 24/AFP

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