YEREVAN (Yerkir)—Armenian Revolutionary Federation leaders have expressed concern over Russia’s recent deepening of military cooperation with Armenia’s main regional adversaries, saying Moscow’s policies in the Caucasus are becoming “very dangerous” and run counter to a military alliance between Armenia and Russia.
ARF Armenia Supreme Council member and chairman of the parliamentary committee of defense and national security, Hrair Karapetian, told reporters Wednesday that Russia’s posturing goes counter to the Collective Security Treaty Organization, of which Azerbaijan is not a member. The CSTO is a Russia-led defense alliance between six former Soviet States, which was established to counterbalance NATO’s influence in the region.
Karapetian highlighted a plan of joint military activities for next year that was recently signed by the defense ministers of Azerbaijan and Russia. He said, “This makes us wonder, ‘What is the difference between us and Azerbaijan?’ We are a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Azerbaijan is not. Is it worth deepening military cooperation with a country whose representatives periodically make bellicose statements?”
He said the Russian policy “…is at least strange and unacceptable to us. It contributes to the development of an even more dangerous situation,” with regards to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Karapetian went on to deplore Russian-Turkish military cooperation. Moscow is seeking to forge closer defense links with “a country that still threatens Armenia’s security,” he said.
At a press conference Tuesday, ARF Bureau member Vahan Hovannesian said that Moscow’s policies related to the South Caucasus are becoming “very dangerous” for Armenia.
The two ARF leaders urged Armenia’s traditional allies, including members of the CSTO, of forging military relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey, as they would shift the balance of power in the region.