Armenia is to host joint military exercises with the United States army later this month, the country’s Defence Ministry announced on Wednesday.
The Eagle Partner 2023 exercises will involve 85 US and 175 Armenian troops and will last from 11 to 20 September, a US military spokesperson said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reacted to the announcement by saying that Armenia’s decision to hold joint exercises with the US military was “concerning, especially given the current situation”, adding that the Kremlin would be keeping a close eye on developments.
The announcement suggests the further deterioration of ties between Yerevan and its traditional ally Moscow. In January, Armenia announced it would no longer be hosting joint military exercises later in the year with the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a military alliance of six former Soviet nations of which Armenia is a member.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has expressed serious concerns over the failure of Russia’s peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognised Azerbaijani territory with an ethnic Armenian population.
When Armenia requested military assistance from the CSTO following an Azerbaijani attack on its territory last September, the alliance limited its response to offering a non-military observer mission, which reportedly prompted Yerevan to seek new guarantors of its territorial integrity.