TENSIONS between Russia and the US have escalated after the Russian Foreign Ministry furiously accused Washington of attempting to sway Armenia’s allegiance away from Moscow.
The Russian government was responding to comments made by White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, during his visit to Armenia’s capital Yerevan last week.
The US official is believed to have praised the new government for their efforts to tackle corruption in a meeting with acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian after he led a “people’s revolution” in the Spring to oust Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, who was regarded as being close to Moscow.
According to the US Embassy in Armenia, Mr Bolton said: “The US supports the new government’s efforts to address corruption, increase judicial transparency and enhance the government’s accountability to its citizens in ways that strengthen democracy, rule of law and regional stability.”
The US official also hailed the meeting on Twitter, writing: “Yesterday I had a nice visit to Armenia, an important friend in the region.
“I enjoyed productive conversations with the Prime Minister and his national security team.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry responded defiantly to Mr Bolton’s remarks, and accused the US of “openly” calling for Armenia to renounce its historical bond with Russia.
In a statement, released on October 29, they said: “Bolton demanded openly that Armenia renounce historical patterns in its international relations and hardly bothered to conceal the fact that this implied Armenia’s traditional friendship with Russia.
“Naturally, he did not forget to advertise US weapons that Armenia should buy instead of Russian weapons.”