MK Belik: US drags Armenia into exercises to escalate tensions
The United States is training Russia’s friend Armenia in military exercises in Europe to heighten tensions with Moscow. This is how a member of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, Dmitry Belik, reacted to Yerevan’s plans to participate in maneuvers in a conversation with Lenta.ru.
“With a certain frequency, events occur, staged by the West and aimed at provoking one reaction or another from Russia or casting a shadow over our country’s cooperation with other countries,” the official said. deputy.
Washington’s methods include creating tension for Russia by inviting, and more often, enticing countries cooperating with Russia into its initiatives.
According to him, Moscow cannot influence Yerevan’s decisions, but it has the right to ask for clarification.
“Armenia is a sovereign state that is free to make decisions about participation in what is in line with international law, and it will not be possible to ban it. At the same time, it is natural for our country to ask for clarification on Armenia’s participation in NATO exercises. Russia reacts by putting our national interests first and, after receiving clarification on this issue, will draw the appropriate conclusions,” concluded Dmitry Belik.
Maria Zakharova, former spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry reportedthat Russia has asked Armenia to formally clarify its participation in American exercises in Europe. According to her, after that, Moscow will decide how to react on this issue. She added that Yerevan’s refusal to carry out Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) maneuvers on its territory is regrettable and does not contribute to strengthening regional security.
April 6 Deputy Pentagon Spokesperson Sabrina Singh announcementthat the United States will conduct Defender 23 exercises in Europe with 25 nations. Approximately 9,000 US military personnel and 17,000 military personnel from Washington’s partner nations will participate. Armenia is on the list of participants.
January 10 Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan declaredthat the country will not conduct CSTO exercises on its territory in 2023. He called the maneuvers “in the current situation” inappropriate.