U.S. Ambassador Mills: Armenia’s Alliance with Russia ‘No Obstacle’ to Closer U.S.-Armenia Ties

YEREVAN (A.W.)—United States Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills said on July 28 that Armenia’s military and political alliance with Russia does not prevent it from building closer security ties with the U.S.

U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills

“No, there is no such obstacle.… The cooperation between the United States and Armenia in this area has moved forward and deepened in recent years. This shows Armenia’s ability to work with all of its neighbors and contribute to international security,” Mills said, according to a report published by RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.

Mills went on to say that Armenia’s defense ties with Russia and the West should not be seen as a “zero-sum” game. “The question is just that we ensure that Armenia makes its own decisions about who it wants to have military and security relations with,” he noted while speaking to reporters after watching a joint exercise held by Armenian fire-rescue teams, officers of the Kansas National Guard, and a British army unit at a training center in Lusakert, Armenia.

Minister of Emergency Situations Davit Tonoyan, Kansas National Guard Adjutant General Major-General Lee Tafanelli, and British Ambassador Judith Farnworth also attended the joint exercise, which followed a 10-day training course held by U.S. and British military personnel for Armenian firefighters and rescue workers.

“Responses to emergency situations are an apolitical sphere all over the world, and we will keep going down that path,” Tonoyan said after the drill.

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