Armenian experts recommend to take this warning seriously, while Russian experts view it as yet another attempt to exert political pressure
The USA has warned the Armenian government about possible sanctions should they conclude any significant contracts with companies from the Russian defence industry – the Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper reports.
starting from 29 January, the USA can introduce new sanctions under the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions’ legal act against any country, natural person or organization who conducts business with Russian defence industry enterprises.
Artsrun Hovhannisyan, a spokesperson from the Armenian Ministry of Defence recommended addressing any sanction-related questions towards Armenia’s Foreign Ministry. The Armenian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, Tigran Balayan, commented on the matter in an extremely diplomatic manner:
“Armenia highly values cooperation with its partner-states.”
Vladimir Yevseev, a Russian military expert and the head of the CIS Institute’s Caucasus Department noted that, unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia wasn’t buying large numbers of weapons. Consequently, Armenia is unlikely to be among the top 10 countries subjected to sanctions by the USA’s.
“The USA intends to establish control over this region, including over Armenia. However, if they introduce sanctions against Armenia they will thus push Armenia away rather than bring it closer. The USA doesn’t want to keep Armenia at a distance. It’s just another attempt to exert political pressure,” said Vladimir Yevseev.
However, Armenian experts have warned against not taking the USA seriously.
“Armenia buys most of its weapons from Russia. However, in this case it may be possible to start seeking some alternatives to Russia. We should make precise estimates of what we buy from Russia and what we can or cannot give up on. We should also actively cooperate with the USA. It’s erroneous to think that everything is going to be fine as long as Putin’s there,” said Levon Shirinyan, a political analyst.