State Dept: US drills in Armenia routine, unrelated to any events
US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller announces that the drills with Armenia is routine in order to improve interoperability with the US armed forces.
According to United States State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller on Monday, the US-Armenia joint military drills in Transcaucasia are not in response to any particular event but rather a routine training in order to "maintain readiness and we continuously improve on the interoperability between our armed forces."
Armenia announced this week that it would be hosting joint war games with US forces, dubbed "Eagle Partner 2023," between September 11-20, alleging that this step is part of the country's preparation to partake in international peacekeeping missions.
During a press briefing, Miller explained that Armenia was a long-time partner of the US and that the drills are "in no way tied to any other events."
The reply came immediately after a reporter queried whether the exercises were connected to Azerbaijan's prospective military move.
The Armenian Defense Ministry issued a statement on Friday, underscoring the precarious situation prevailing at the border with Azerbaijan due to the apparent buildup of Azerbaijani military forces.
The mounting tension has raised concerns, prompting the Armenian Armed Forces to take measures aimed at maintaining stability and deterring potential provocations. "The situation continues to be tense as a result of the accumulation of Azerbaijani armed forces during the last two days. Hence, the Armenian Armed Forces continue to take necessary actions to stabilize it and prevent provocations," the Armenian MoD said in an official statement.
This recent escalation follows a recurring pattern of periodic exchanges of fire along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The most significant flare-up in hostilities took place on September 12, 2022, leaving regional observers wary of a possible repeat of such confrontations.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized Armenia's intention to perform joint drills with the US in Transcaucasia on Sunday, citing there was "nothing good" about NATO trying to get into the Caucasus.
The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Armenia's ambassador to Moscow on Friday to protest Yerevan's recent "unfriendly steps," including its announcement of joint exercises with the United States.