The Armenian defense ministry will mobilize approximately 2,000 reservists today for extended training.
The ministry authorized the three-month mobilization following recent clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces. Both states have reported casualties since fighting resumed in Nagorno-Karabakh and areas along the border in May. Though a Russian-mediated ceasefire ended a 44-day war between Yerevan and Baku last November, the two states have not signed a peace agreement.
As Armenian officials have attributed the country’s 2020 loss to Azerbaijan to a lack of technical capability and equipment, expect the military to use the mobilization to implement initiatives including equipment trainings and management reforms, likely holding exercises near the border.
Such exercises would likely trigger further border skirmishes, but major hostilities are improbable. Russia, Yerevan’s primary ally, is unlikely to provide support in a war that could damage its credibility as a guarantor of the 2020 ceasefire. Looking ahead, expect continuing border hostilities and pressure from Russia to resume negotiations or face reduced security assistance. Yet, a settlement remains unlikely, as neither state has agreed on preconditions for discussions. Without an agreement, Yerevan will likely see Moscow reduce its expenditures on the Armenian military while increasing its own presence in contested areas.
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Mariah is the Director of Analysis. A regular contributor to the Daily Brief, Mariah analyzes geopolitical and economic events in the states of the former Soviet Union.