YEREVAN (Politico) — Armenia’s president is demanding answers from NATO over the involvement of Turkey in the Nagorno-Karabakh war.
Armen Sarkissian says he’s ready to travel to Brussels to confront the transatlantic alliance over Ankara’s actions in the Caucasus and warn the European Union of the threat they pose to the bloc’s security.
“If I go to Brussels,” he said in an interview with POLITICO, “I would like to speak to the NATO leadership as to why this very strange situation is taking place where Turkey, a full NATO member, is involved in a war that has nothing to do with NATO. How on earth is it that a NATO member is acting as freely as a cowboy and NATO does nothing? Does this mean they have a green light from NATO?”
Turkey threw its weight behind traditional ally Azerbaijan when the frozen conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh — an Armenian-controlled enclave internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan — reignited last month. The fighting has cost hundreds of lives, with both sides accusing each other of killing civilians.
Armenia is accusing Turkey of sending fighter jets and Syrian mercenaries to Azerbaijan. Ankara has denied this, though several media reports have documented the presence of Syrian fighters and F-16s. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has acknowledged Turkish F-16s are present in the country but claimed they were not used in the fighting.
Sarkissian said he wanted to visit NATO’s Brussels headquarters to “get explanations” as to why “Turkish weapons, drones and F-16 are involved in the process of bombing Armenia and Armenian civilians in huge numbers. These are NATO-made weapons: the engines from Austria, the avionics are from Canada and the parts of the rockets are from Britain and so on.”