As Russia continues its military interventions in Ukraine and Syria, and beefs up its military presence around the Baltics, an oft-ignored Caucasus, bordering NATO-member Turkey is falling under Moscow’s influence.
Russia has been consistently expanding its presence in its proxy state of Armenia. Armenia’s been Moscow’s staunch ally and hosted its 102nd military base near its border with NATO-member Turkey. With Russia’s military support, Armenia also sustains its occupation of Nagorno Karabakh region of our ally Azerbaijan. While Azerbaijan has for many years provided a vital corridor to U.S. troops through southern route of the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) by opening its territory and air space to NATO, Armenia has received subsidized arms deals from Moscow. This year, it received a $200-million arms equipment loan from Moscow to buy hypersonic Iskander-M (SS-26 Stone) ballistic missiles which can hit oil and gas infrastructure within Azerbaijan, where Western companies operate.
This November, Putin also sanctioned creation of Russo-Armenian joint force which will expand Russian military presence in Armenia and put America’s allies Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan at risk. This can be interpreted as nothing but confronting the U.S. national interests and NATO allies through Moscow’s proxies.
Armenian embassy and lobbying groups are to appear on Capitol Hill on Dec. 6 bringing representatives of separatist regime they had installed in occupied Nagorno Karabakh. Pretending to celebrate “freedom” they are in fact celebrating Russian-Armenian military expansion in Caucasus.
As Americans, we must decry any cooperation with Armenian separatists who come to Washington. I call on my elected officials to refrain from attending this bogus event, and from any contact with separatists who act in concert with Kremlin to harm U.S. interests in Europe and Middle East.
Sun City West