When NATO military exercises kick off in Georgia next week, they will include troops from the United States, Germany, Turkey, Ukraine, and Armenia. But they won't include Azerbaijan, an unexpected, last-minute dropout.
Azerbaijan also didn't participate in another set of recently concluded NATO-affiliated drills in Romania, although in past years they had participated in several previous iterations of the drill. Armenia, meanwhile, took part for the first time in the exercises, under the rubric Saber Guardian
And Azerbaijan also didn't take part in U.S./Ukraine-hosted naval exercises in the Black Sea, called Sea Breeze, in spite of earlier promises that they would. (Armenia didn't take part in these, either, possibly because they have no naval forces.)
It's not clear why Azerbaijan dropped out of the exercises in Georgia and the Black Sea. There has been no official explanation, and neither the Ministry of Defense nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to The Bug Pit's request for comment.
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