Pashinyan: Armenia is seeking new military partners beyond traditional alliance with Russia

Yerevan is on the search for new partners in military-technical cooperation after acknowledging that its traditional reliance solely on Russia is no longer feasible, said Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan during an interview with Public Radio of Armenia.

Pashinyan highlighted that previously, 95-97% of Armenia's defense relations were with Russia. However, he stated, "This can no longer continue, due both to objective and subjective reasons." He pointed out the need for Armenia to understand "with whom we can realistically have military-technical and defense relations."

According to the Prime Minister, in January 2022, Armenian authorities had prepared a concept for reforming the army in collaboration with Russia. However, events later in the year, including Azerbaijan's blockade of the Lachin corridor—a vital link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia—showed that "we cannot proceed with this concept, and now we must assess how realistic military-technical cooperation with Moscow is," Pashinyan explained.

He went on to state that the current concept for developing the Armenian army needs to be revised, promising that a new document would be adopted by the end of the year.

After hostilities ended in Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2023, Pashinyan criticized the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which Armenia is part of, as ineffective. Armenian Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan had previously stated in the summer that since 2020, Armenia's membership in the CSTO had yielded no benefits for Yerevan. He recalled three large-scale attacks from Azerbaijan on Armenia, during which the CSTO had provided no assistance.

In January 2023, Armenia declined to host CSTO military exercises on its territory. Furthermore, in July, it chose not to participate in the organization's rescue service exercises in Belarus. In May 2023, Pashinyan said he was contemplating Armenia's exit from the CSTO, and in November, he did not attend the CSTO summit in Minsk and requested that the organization remove the assistance discussion for Yerevan from the meeting agenda.

In September 2023, Armenia conducted joint military exercises with the United States on its territory, which were aimed at preparing for participation in international peacekeeping missions.

  Armenia, Pashinyan, Russia