The messenger logo

Why did Armenia refuse to participate in the NATO exercises?

By Messenger Staff
Friday, May 8
Russia was hysterically opposed to the NATO trainings taking place in Georgia. It was irritated in particular by Armenia planning to participate in them. Russia considered this an act of betrayal by its strategic partner. Armenia tried until the end to resist Russian pressure, as Yerevan has adopted so-called ‘complementarist’ politics, balancing the interests of Russia and the West. However at the last moment it refused to participate in the trainings.

On May 6 Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia Karine Kazarian gave the unrest in Georgia as the reason for the withdrawal. However Defence Minister Seiran Oganesian said that Armenia is against the statement made by Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer that the major principle of international relations is territorial integrity. Oganesian considers there are three major principles which go hand in hand: territorial integrity, self-determination and the non use of force. Scheffer made his statement on April 29 and Armenia refused to participate in the exercises on May 5.