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At Last Minute, Armenia Drops Out of NATO Exercises in Georgia

An Azerbaijani soldier takes part in the opening ceremony for NATO exercises in Georgia, after Armenia unexpectedly dropped out. (photo: MoD Georgia)

At the last minute and with no explanation, Armenia has dropped out of NATO military exercises in Georgia, after taking part in several other drills with the Western alliance this summer.

Georgia's Ministry of Defense announced just before the start of the exercise, on September 3, that Armenia had decided not to go. “Armenia was due to participate in the military exercises, but unfortunately it abandoned that intention a few days before their start,” a spokesman for the Georgian Defense Ministry told RFE/RL's Armenian service on September 3. “I don’t know what the reason for that is.” 

Armenia's participation was to be only symbolic: three military medics. But it was symbolic of Yerevan's desire to balance out its close ties with Russia. An analysis on Armenia's participation, published before the dropout on August 31, headlined: "Armenia deepens cooperation with NATO: How will Russia react?" concluded:

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At Last Minute, Armenia Drops Out of NATO Exercises in Georgia

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