Armenia is open to discussing a possible purchase of military equipment from the United States if there is a good offer, according to the acting prime minister of the South Caucasus nation, which has traditionally close ties with Russia.
Visiting Armenia on October 25, U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton said the issue of possible sales of U.S. military equipment was discussed during his meeting with Nikol Pashinian, the acting head of the Armenian government.
In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL later that day, Bolton said buying U.S. military equipment was a viable "option" for Armenia.
“If it’s a question of buying Russian military equipment versus buying U.S. military equipment, we’d prefer the latter. We think our equipment is better than the Russians’ anyway. So we want to look at that. And I think it increases Armenia’s options when it’s not entirely dependent on one major power,” he said.
Asked by reporters on October 27 whether Yerevan is actually going to purchase military equipment from the United States, Pashinian said: “The [Armenian] government is not constrained by anything. If there is an offer from the United States that is good for us, we will discuss it.”
Armenia has long had close ties with Russia, but questions about the relations have increased since Pashinian in May ousted from power Serzh Sarkisian, seen as close to Moscow.