Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
Armenia’s growing cooperation with NATO shows that Yerevan is trying to play on two fronts, Sergey Markov, Russian president’s confidant, member of Russian Civic Chamber, told Trend July 31.
NATO’s multinational military exercises, Noble Partner 2017, began in Georgia July 31. Armenian servicemen are also taking part in the exercises. The opening ceremony of the Noble Partner 2017 exercises took place at the Vaziani Air Base July 31. The exercises, which involve eight NATO member countries and partners, will last until August 12. The US Vice President Mike Pence, who will arrive in Tbilisi July 31, is expected to attend the exercises.
Markov noted that Armenia’s participation in the multinational NATO-led exercises indicates that Armenia is trying to maintain the best possible relations not only with Russia, but also with the Western coalition.
“Many countries today maintain cooperation with NATO. We see that Georgia is a full ally of the NATO, and Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Belarus have close relations with the Western coalition,” said the expert.
“Meanwhile, Azerbaijan says more clearly and honestly that it maintains relations with both parties – Russia and the West,” he noted, adding that Russia accepts this position with understanding.
“Armenia says that it is an ally of Russia, but in fact, it carries out a different policy, namely, a policy of in-depth cooperation with NATO,” said Markov.
He noted that Armenia uses Russia as an ally in a very selfish way.
According to Markov, Armenia’s such policy based on interaction with NATO countries is a response to the position of Russia, which prefers to step up its in-depth cooperation with Azerbaijan, rather than with Armenia.
“Thus, the Armenian leadership demonstrates that it doesn’t like the cooperation of Russia with Azerbaijan, particularly, the sale of Russian weaponry to Azerbaijan, which significantly strengthens Azerbaijan’s military power,” added Markov.