Reaction in the South Caucasus to Russia’s armed occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula is conforming to a predictable pattern: the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan are staying silent, while officials in Georgia are offering full-throated criticism of Kremlin behavior.
The reluctance of officials in Armenia to comment on recent developments in Crimea is conditioned mainly by Yerevan’s economic dependence on Russia, combined with a desire not to completely alienate the United States and European Union, local analysts say. Although Armenia last fall turned its back on stronger ties with the EU in favor of greater economic integration with Moscow, President Serzh Sargyan doesn’t want to burn any diplomatic bridges.
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Elizabeth Owen, Marianna Grigoryan and Shain Abbasov provided reporting for this story.