Moscow expresses concern over upcoming Armenia-U.S. military drills
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed reservations about the military cooperation, suggesting that such activities could threaten the delicate stability of the region. "Carrying out such exercises does not contribute to stabilizing the situation and [does not help] to strengthen the atmosphere of mutual trust," Peskov said, according to Tass. His comments followed Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's remarks highlighting the deteriorating situation with the upcoming Armenia-U.S. drills.
While the joint military exercises, dubbed "Eagle Partner 2023," are scheduled to begin on Armenian soil on September 11-20, earlier the Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stressed that Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) members like Armenia should prioritize military exercises with allied nations, hinting at Moscow's unease with Armenia's decision to engage with the United States.
Adding to the situation's complexity, Pashinyan warned that Azerbaijan was amassing troops along the Armenian border and the Nagorno-Karabakh dividing line. He stressed the need for the intervention of the international community, especially the member states of the UN Security Council.
At the same time, in an unrelated but significant incident, two prominent figures, pro-Russian blogger Mika Badalyan and Sputnik Armenia columnist Ashot Gevorkyan, were arrested in Goris, Armenia, on suspicion of illegal arms trafficking. According to the Tass, their arrests, especially that of Badalyan, who had previously faced detentions that were perceived to be politically motivated, raised eyebrows. Rossotrudnichestvo leader Yevgeny Primakov expressed concern about Badalyan's sudden disappearance before his arrest and called for a complete and transparent investigation.