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US, Armenia hold military drills as Russia's influence weakens in Caucasus

Washington has a finger on the scale as Armenia accuses Russia of failing to protect it against Azerbaijan.
Astrig Agopian/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The United States and Armenia kicked off combined military exercises this week designed to train Armenian troops to participate in international peacekeeping missions, Armenia’s Defense Ministry said.

The exercise, dubbed "Eagle Partner," includes 85 US and 175 Armenian personnel and is being held over 10 days at training facilities outside the capital Yerevan.

Why it matters: Tensions between Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan are soaring. Both sides have accused each other of building up troops near the disputed territory of Karabakh.

The US military training mission puts Washington’s finger on the scale as it seeks to blunt Russia’s inroads in the Caucasus and amid a wider effort for rapprochement with Turkey.

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