Policymakers in Armenia are wary of the risks of the country getting caught up in deepening Russian-Turkish rancor. But some observers see opportunity for Armenia to advance its interests amid the geopolitical falling out.
Russian-Turkish relations have rapidly deteriorated since Turkish jets downed a Russian Su-24M fighter in late November. The spat has broad ramifications for Armenia: deep feelings of distrust and hostility mark Yerevan’s own relationship with Turkey, which borders Armenia to the west. Meanwhile, Armenia has traditionally seen Russia as the nation’s protector and strategic ally.
Speculation about Armenia potentially becoming drawn into the Russian-Turkish feud often touches on the Russian military base at the Armenian town of Gyumri. The facility sits less than 10 kilometers from the Turkish border.
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Gayane Abrahamyan is a freelance reporter and editor in Yerevan.