Washington: Armenia, a former state of Soviet Union, has turned against Russia over waging war on Ukraine with its Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan saying his country’s alliance with Moscow was a “strategic mistake”, while launching military exercises with the US.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin finds himself increasingly isolated from the world over his invasion of Ukraine, launched in February last year, even countries that separated from the USSR and still remained an ally are reconsidering their relationship, thus isolating the Russian President.
Putin finds himself increasingly isolated on the global stage. Last year’s invasion of Ukraine has left him with few friends, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un being one of them.
Armenia has recently reconsidered its alliance with Russia as a “ strategic mistake” and feels betrayed by its actions, reports said.
Armenia has been relying on Russia for its security. Its PM Pashinyan now considers this reliance a “strategic mistake”, as reported by CNN. He felt Russia itself is in need of weapons and can no longer meet Armenia’s security needs.
Not just Ukraine. Armenia is particularly concerned about escalating conflicts and tensions with Azerbaijan. The country feels betrayed by Russia’s inability or unwillingness to intervene in the on-going disputes between the two nations. Armenia has turned to the United States for joint military exercises, annoying Russia to a great deal.
Some analysts say that Russia is too preoccupied with its invasion of Ukraine. Hence, Russia’s unwillingness to choose between Armenia and Azerbaijan has effectively made it choose Azerbaijan over Armenia much to the chagrin of Pashinyan.
This passive stance is seen as a pro-Azerbaijani position, Armenian diplomats observed.
Armenia’s hope on a key ally has been shattered by Russia. Armenia had invested years, even centuries, believing Russia would fulfil its strategic commitments and defend them against foreign aggression.
“This belief has been shattered, as Russia has failed to act in 2020, 2021, and now in 2022,” media reports said.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that no agreements were signed between Putin and Kim Jong Un during their recent meeting at Vladivostok. The five -hour meeting that took place on September 13 in Russia’s eastern Amur Oblast was initially believed to be an arms deal agreement.
Peskov clarified the meeting did not conclude with signed agreements and it did not cover any arms sales or any other matters. Putin also told reporters that the discussions were centred around cooperation in missile and space technology.
Peskov reiterated that an arms sale was not the objective of Kim’s visit to Russia, stating, “There were no such plans.”
The United States had warned that it would impose new sanctions on both Russia and North Korea if they entered into an arms deal. South Korea also indicated on September 15 that it would consider further sanctions against the two nations.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) noted that Putin would need to be cautious in his statements about the Russia-North Korea relationship to avoid triggering additional sanctions, reports said.
In the meantime, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasised that the financial aid from the United States to Ukraine serves a greater purpose going beyond funding Ukraine in its war against Russia.
In an interview with CBS News, Zelensky warned that if Ukraine falls, Putin would go aggressive beyond Ukraine, thus unleashing a global conflict.
Zelensky pointed out that the US has already contributed tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine’s war effort. What more does Ukraine need to do to prove its gratitude, except saying, “We are dying in this war.”
Zelensky also warned that if Ukraine falls, it could lead to a Third World War.
The Ukrainian President is expected to visit the White House this week as the Biden administration pushes for increased funding for Ukraine to the tune of $24 billion, including both military and humanitarian aid in the Congress but opposed by most Republicans who are in majority.
The US administration sent a request to Congress for an additional $24 billion in military and financial aid for Ukraine. The request faces opposition from an increasing number of House Republicans.