Armenia reinforces Western military alliances amid tensions with Russia

Armenia reinforces Western military alliances amid tensions with Russia
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As relations with Moscow sour, Yerevan seeks security partnerships with the US, Europe, and beyond.

The Armenian authorities are actively bolstering their security ties with Western nations, signaling a shift away from their traditionally close alliance with Moscow, reports in a new detailed article by OC Media. This strategic pivot results from the deepening rift between Armenia and Russia, as Armenian officials express dissatisfaction with Moscow's response to regional threats.

In a recent development showcasing Armenia's intent to strengthen its military cooperation with the West, the Chief of Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces, Eduard Asryan, visited the United States European Command in Stuttgart. During his visit, Asryan met with the deputy commander, Lieutenant General Steven Basham, to discuss various issues, including army professionalization, modernization of Armenia's management systems, peacekeeping, military medicine and education, and combat readiness. Their meeting follows joint Armenian-American military drills held in Armenia in September.

Germany has also shown a keen interest in addressing Armenia's security concerns. Germany's Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, assured Armenia of Germany's readiness to collaborate on security matters during her visit to Yerevan on November 3rd. Similarly, France has stepped up its support, with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna announcing an agreement to supply Armenia with military equipment. Subsequently, France and Armenia signed bilateral military cooperation deals, including the provision of radars and anti-air systems, and France has appointed a military attaché to its embassy in Yerevan.

Armenia's quest to diversify its military partnerships extends beyond Europe. The country has been reported to have secured additional weapons deals with India, with whom it shares a history of close ties. According to the Economic Times and corroborated by the Eurasian Times, Armenia has purchased an anti-drone system from India's Zen Technologies for $41.5 million. This follows a previous purchase of military equipment from India in the autumn of 2022. Furthermore, Armenian Defence Minister Suren Papikyan discussed potential defense cooperation with China during a visit to Beijing in October.

The recalibration of Armenia's security alliances occurs against a deteriorating relationship with Russia. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has suggested that Russian inaction during Azerbaijan's offensives on Armenian territory has necessitated a broader security partnership network. Armenia has been distancing itself from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russia-led security bloc, opting out of several drills and summits and demonstrating a reluctance to engage with the organization's leadership roles.