Wednesday 25 April 2018 Last Update: 08:08 PM

The Washington Examiner: Time To Cut Off Foreign Aid To Armenia

Published: 05-10-2017

Just weeks ago, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced that his nation and Russia will discuss the creation of a joint military-industrial complex in the city of Gyumri, Armenia, Alexander Murinson, a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and Bar-Ilan University, wrote in his article published by The Washington Examiner, the US political website.

“This should raise alarms on the Capitol Hill and throughout Washington, as this is just the next step in a Russian military buildup utilizing its vassal Armenia as a proxy and launching point for operations against NATO,” said the article.

While the group of congressmen who form the Congressional Armenian Issues Caucus continue their unflinching, if not brazen, financial and military support to this South Caucasus nation, it serves as a military outpost for Russia - Armenia even brands itself as one of Russia's important military outposts, the author wrote.

“In an interview with “Izvestia”, a Russian daily, Sargsyan declared that Armenia is consistently building up its defense capability in the framework of military-technical cooperation with Russia,” reads the article. “Also, he stressed the role of the 102nd Russian military base located in Armenian territory. And in November 2016, Armenia joined the anti-aircraft defense system of the Russian Federation.”

The deepening Armenian military alliance with Russia poses a direct threat to NATO, said the article.

Adam Ereli, former deputy spokesman at the State Department, said that the agreement’s reinforcement of the Russian troops in this region can threaten countries of NATO and their Western allies, according to the article.

Ereli noted specifically that “over the last six months - as Russia's war in Syria and pressure on Turkey has intensified - the flow of its arms and personnel into Armenia has escalated to include advanced Navodchik-2 and Takhion UAV drone aircrafts, Mi-24 helicopter gunships and Iskander-M ballistic missiles”, the article said.

The deployment of Iskander-M missiles significantly changes the military balance in the region, said the author.

“In February 2017, the Russians moved Iskander ballistic missile systems within strike range of anywhere in Turkey, Israel or Azerbaijan, some of the United States' closest allies,” reads the article. “These developments are in sharp dissonance with the continued financial support for Armenia approved by Congress and President Barack Obama’s administration.”

The main lobbying effort on behalf of Armenia is conducted by the Armenian Caucus, said the article.

The official mission of the caucus runs counter to US interests, as it advocates for increased trade and assistance to Armenia, self-determination for Nagorno-Karabakh region, and supporting US recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide, said the author in his article.

Adam Ereli pointed to a very weak, even non-existent, response by the West to the beefing up of the Russian-Armenian military alliance, the author wrote.

Western experts concur that Russia is preparing a new military alliance with Armenia, which may serve a launching point to unexpectedly hit at the interests of the US and NATO in the region, said the article.

“In light of the strengthening military alliance of Armenia with Russia, the wisdom of continued support for Armenia needs to be not questioned, but openly condemned,” reads the article. “Armenian "political" organizations such as the Armenian National Committee of America and others are, in fact, Russian puppets. They are completely dedicated to perpetuating within Congress the old and corrupt idea that relations with Russia are good for Armenia and that is, in turn, good for the US.”

This unwarranted support by the Armenian national organizations in the US for the anti-Western policies carried out by the Kremlin and Yerevan should be exposed, said the author in his article.

“The new stage in Armenian-Russian strategic cooperation represents a military threat to the Western alliance,” the article said. “Members of the Armenian Caucus should be reprimanded and financial aid to Armenia must cease, especially when the post-war American allies in NATO are asked to increase their contributions in order to beef up Western defense against Russia.”

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend.Az