Another country Putin thought was his friend has snubbed Russia by refusing to host its military for routine exercises

Another country Putin thought was his friend has snubbed Russia by refusing to host its military for routine exercises

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (L) are seen during the CSTO welcoming ceremony in Yerevan, Armenia on November 23, 2022. Contributor/Getty Images

Armenia’s leader has canceled planned Russian military exercises in the country for later this year.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said the drills were “inappropriate in the current situation,” AP reported.

Pashinyan has accused Russia of failing to help in its ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan.

Armenia has refused to host the Russian military for routine training, another snub by a country President Vladimir Putin thought was an ally.

On Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said he had canceled military exercises planned by the Collective Security Treaty Organization — a Russian-dominated alliance of post-Soviet nations — later this year, the Associated Press reported.

“At least this year, these exercises will not take place,” he told a news conference, calling the exercises “inappropriate in the current situation.”

“Russia’s military presence in Armenia not only fails to guarantee its security, but poses security threats to Armenia,” Pashinyan added, according to the AP.

The Armenian leader also criticized the failure of Russian peacekeepers to take a more active role around the disputed breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, saying he would seek support from the US and the European Union to help ease tensions with Azerbaijan.

Nagorno-Karabakh has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces since a separatist war there ended in 1994. Starting last month, Azerbaijani activists have blocked a free corridor linking Armenia to the region.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the row, calling the country “our very close ally,” according to the AP.

Pashinyan’s latest move is another sign of rising tensions between Russia’s allies.

At a CSTO summit last November, Putin was repeatedly snubbed by Pashinyan, including when the Armenian prime minister refused to be photographed near him.

Other CSTO members include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Azerbaijan is not part of the group.

The story continues

Putin has become increasingly isolated on the world stage due to his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

India’s prime minister criticized the invasion of Ukraine directly to Putin in September, while the Russian president also admitted last year that China has “questions and concerns” about its actions in Ukraine.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *