Armenia to host host joint military exercises with U.S. amidst geopolitical tensions with Russia and Azerbaijan

Joint Armenian-American military exercises named "Eagle Partner" are set to be held in Armenia from July 14 to July 24. This was confirmed by Armenia's Ministry of Defence and the United States European Command .

The drills will see participation from the peacekeeping brigade of the Armenian Armed Forces, US Army ground forces, and the Kansas National Guard.

The purpose of the exercises is to "perform operations aimed at stabilizing relations between conflicting parties while carrying out peacekeeping tasks."

"The aim of the exercise is to improve the coherence of units participating in international missions under peacekeeping operations, exchange advanced experiences in management and tactical communication, and boost the combat readiness of the Armenian unit," the Armenian Defence Ministry noted in the announcement.

US military officials provided more detailed descriptions of the upcoming training events. The exercises will include artillery firing drills and "familiarization with weapons and equipment" used by the participants.

This event is likely to displease Moscow and raise concerns in Baku as well, given the ongoing territorial disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Armenia has been enhancing its defence cooperation with Western countries following the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. In September 2023, Azerbaijani forces seized the Armenian-populated region, prompting residents to flee their homeland.

During the clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh, Yerevan reached out to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for "immediate necessary assistance, including military aid." However, the organisation, where Russia plays a key role, limited its response to expressions of concern and condolences.

As a result, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan threatened to withdraw the country from the CSTO. In late June this year, Armenia was invited to a NATO summit as an alliance partner. Additionally, the US offered to expand military cooperation with Armenia, including collaboration in food, energy, border security, and cyber security sectors.

France has also provided defence assistance to Armenia. In February this year, Yerevan and Paris signed a military cooperation agreement, though the details have not been disclosed.

French Minister of Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu has stated that Armenia could receive missiles, air defence systems, and other weapons from Paris.

In June, it was revealed that a contract for the supply of French Caesar self-propelled artillery units to Yerevan had been signed.

Regarding this latest acquisition, another focus of the Eagle Partner exercises highlighted by the US military seems noteworthy. US forces will share with their Armenian counterparts the rules for establishing training grounds, as practised in the United States and NATO countries.

Yerevan's growing military ties with Western nations have predictably angered the Kremlin. "Armenia is being turned into an instrument for implementing the highly dangerous plans of the collective West," stated Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

"Pashinyan is a liar and a scoundrel," remarked Konstantin Zatulin, First Deputy Chair of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs.

  Armenia, Pashinyan, CSTO, Azerbaijan