Image by Министерство обороны России
Sergey Shoigu and John Bolton (2018-10-23)
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) criticized U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton’s offer to the Armenian leadership in Yerevan last week to sell the Russian ally American weapons. Russia maintains troops in Armenia and has sold weapons to the former Soviet republic for decades. However, Russia also has been selling weapons to Armenia’s long-term nemesis Azerbaijan, hence creating an opening for Trump’s push to sell American arms. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been fighting a ‘frozen conflict’ related to the fall of the Soviet Union in the disputed territory Nagorno-Karabakh.
The ministry compared Bolton’s words with an earlier statement by the US ambassador to Yerevan, Richard Mills, in which the diplomat spoke about Washington’s continued targeted support to certain groups in Armenia. He also promised to give the country $26 million to “strengthen civil society and the media.”
“It seemed that there was no longer any more impudent, indistinguishable form of direct intervention in internal affairs. It turned out that this was not so,” the Foreign Ministry stressed.
It is noted that Bolton “demanded that Armenia abandon the” historical cliché “in its international relations”, without particularly concealing that this is a traditional friendship with Russia, reported Russian news outlet RIA Novosti, part of the state media apparatus.
“Bolton also said that he expects from Pashinyan, after the parliamentary elections in the country, proactive steps towards the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Naturally, he did not forget to advertise the American weapons that Armenia should acquire instead of Russia,” sneered the MFA.
Bolton also declared that American weapons are better than Russian arms. This did not sit well with the Kremlin.