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    Armenia Cancels Military Drills, Widening Rift with Moscow

    Armenia Cancels Military Drills, Widening Rift with Moscow

    YEREVAN, Armenia — The prime minister of Armenia said Tuesday that his country has refused to host drills planned by a Russia-dominated security , an announcement that reflected the Armenian government's growing tensions with .

    Nikol Pashinyan has repeatedly criticized Russian peacekeepers for failure to secure free transit along a corridor linking Armenia and the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh that Azerbaijani activists have blocked since last month.

    Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Pashinyan said that Armenia considers the military exercise the Moscow-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization planned for later this year “inappropriate in the current situation.”

    “At least this year, these drills won't take place,” he said.

    Pashinyan's move followed his refusal in the fall to sign a conclusive document from a meeting of the leaders of CSTO member in Yerevan, Armenia's capital.

    Nagorno-Karabakh lies within azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Yerevan since a separatist war there ended in 1994. That conflict left not only Nagorno-Karabakh itself but large chunks of surrounding lands in Armenian hands.

    In 44 days of heavy fighting that began in September 2020, the Azerbaijani military routed Armenian forces, forcing Yerevan to accept a Russia-brokered peace deal that saw the return to azerbaijan of a significant part of…

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