Recently, NATO military exercise was held with participation of some countries in Georgia. Armenia, unexpectedly, attended the exercise as well. Highlighting importance of the exercise NATO decided to hold the exercise again. Although Armenia declared its intention to participate in the exercise but refused at the very last moment.
Is Armenia’s refusal in training due to the fact that Armenia is for post country or there are other aspects in this issue ?
Member of Milli Mejlis Sahib Aliyev told that there is nothing surprising in Armenia’s refusal to participate in NATO training, despite that it attended in the exercise held in Georgia a month ago: "NATO will not take offence at Armenia as Russia did not when its colony-Armenia participated in the exercises. Permission to Armenia on participation in NATO exercise in Georgia b y Russia was intentionally in order to get concrete data on the exercise. Some issues due to the training were distressing Russia and Armenia was a good option to get thorough data on it. So Armenian Army was not a part of NATO in the exercises but Russia’s talebearer. Of course, NATO was aware of it." added Aliyev.
According to Sahib Aliyev, inviting Armenia to the exercises West showed its possession of Armenia: " They wish Armenia played the same role for them that it has been playing for Russia so far.
Head of "Atlas” Research Center, political analyst Elkhan Shahinoghlu said that the reason behind the Armenia’s refusal to participate in the NATO exercise is Russia’s clear demand not to attend the exercise: "Representatives of Armenian Armed forces did not attend an opening ceremony in Tbilisi”. Whereas Armenia confirmed its participation in the exercises in advance. Armenian flag was among other participant countries flags. Apparently, it was not Armenia’s own decision but it had to refuse to attend the exercise. At first, press Secretary of Armenian Defense Ministry Artsrun Ohanesyan refused to comment on this issue, but after some days Defense Minister of Armenia Artaj Zakaryan made a statement on it and stated that there was not any political aspects in the refusal decision. Then why Armenia refused to attend the exercises? Official Yerevan had agreement with NATO on participation in the military exercise to be held in Georgia. Kremlin interfered to the process. So far Armenia has attended NATO exercises held in Tbilisi, Georgia. As Armenia is completely dependent from Russia it is not able to take any independent step that contrary to Russia’s interest. Kremlin forbade Armenia to participate in second exercise of NATO.
According to E.Shahinoglu, probably Putin diplomatically explained to Sargsyan to refuse to attend the exercise otherwise it would have severe consequences for Armenia: " Sargsyan had to refuse participation in the exercises unwillingly. Otherwise he will be punished by Moscow. So he stated that Armenia would participate in joint military exercises with Russia.