Russia’s arms buildup in Armenia poses a threat to Turkey, NATO, and global economic stability warns former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain Adam Ereli.
Continue Reading Below
His recent article in Forbes magazine details Russia’s more than one billion dollar militarization on Turkey’s eastern border and warns Washington continues to ignore the Armenian buildup, despite threats it poses to NATO member Turkey.
“Putin is creating a new satellite state on NATO’s border and threatening an indispensable U.S. ally,” said Ereli, a career diplomat who served in Egypt, Syria and Bahrain. He cites military data that shows Russia is building up its two bases in Armenia, the deployment of 5000 soldiers and other military personnel, as well as arms including modern helicopter gunships and ballistic missiles sent to Armenia. Ereli warns the fractured allegiances in the region, along with Russia’s support of Syrian dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad and Turkey’s alliance with the United States against ISIS, could be potential fault lines that could snap with dangerous ramifications.
Last year a Turkish air force jet shot down a Russian bomber flying missions over Syria after the bomber crossed into Turkey’s air space. The incident raised the specter that the Syrian civil war could spread. Ereli writes, “The Russian military presence in Armenia represents a dagger pointed at the heart of NATO as the Armenia-Russian alliance strengthens.”
In the latest episode of Talkeconomics Ambassador Ereli dives deeper into the threats the United States faces from Russia including its alliance with Iran and why lack of a consistent U.S. foreign policy in the region raises dangerous alarms, “sooner or later a crisis will strike this part of the world. It could be conflict with Iran or the bloody hand of terror….and make no mistake, American jobs and financial stability will be at stake.”
Updated March 6, 2016: Ambassador Adam Ereli is the vice chairman of Mercury, a public affairs and strategy firm whose clients include the Turkish Institute for Progress.