U.S. Wants ‘Decisive Steps’ on Karabakh; Offers to Sell Arms to Armenia

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton (left) meets Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on Oct. 25, 2018
U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton (left) meets Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on Oct. 25, 2018

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton (left) meets Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on Oct. 25, 2018

YEREVAN—The United States wants the Armenian government to take “decisive steps’ toward a resolution to the Karabakh conflict. This was the message delivered by the National Security Advisor John Bolton who also said that it would behoove Armenia to buy arms from the U.S. instead of Russia.

Bolton, who arrived in Armenia Wednesday evening, is on a regional tour that has thus far taken him to Moscow and Baku, where he held meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev.

Meeting with Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday, Bolton offered the United States’ support to the new government of Armenia and, while touting the upcoming snap parliamentary elections, he said that Pashinyan’s apparent victory in the polls would grant him the mandate needed to take the steps necessary to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Bolton also met with Armenia’s National Security advisor Armen Grigoryan, Acting Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan and Acting Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.

“It is a fact that if the predictions come true he [Pashinyan] will have a very strong mandate, and that is the most opportune moment to take strong action in a number of different respects. And if, as I appreciated what I learned in the meetings here today, … the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh is the primary issue on the Armenian political agenda, there is no better time to try and take decisive action than right after that election,” Bolton said during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan after his meeting with Armenian officials.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton holds a press briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan on Oct. 25, 2018

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton holds a press briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan on Oct. 25, 2018

“The US supports the new government’s efforts aimed at fighting corruption, ensuring transparency of the judicial system and improves the accountability of the government before people, which will lead to the reinforcement of the rule of law and regional stability,” added Bolton.

“I am happy to be in Armenia to underscore the importance of our bilateral relations and to address a broad range of issues concerning these relations and the region. I attatch great importance to key strategic and security issues of mutual interest, including the US policy in terms of Iran, Russia and Syria, as well as this opportunity to examine our common efforts on increasing regional stability. We support the ongoing democratic changes in Armenia, that outline a more prosperous, freer and more independent future,” said Bolton.

Bolton’s visit to Armenia and region was aimed at advancing the Trump administration’s policies in the region especially in light of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and the increased dependence of Armenia on Russia. The announcement by Bolton that the U.S. was willing to sell arms to Armenia in order to discourage arms purchases from Russia was unprecedented, with Bolton calling Russian arms sales to both Armenia and Azerbaijan as destabilizing the region.

Bolton offered his brand of security alternatives for Armenia by speaking about possible U.S. arms sales to Yerevan.

“As I said to the prime minister, if it’s a question of buying Russian military equipment versus buying U.S. military equipment, we’d prefer the latter,” Bolton said in an exclusive interview with Azatutyun.am. “We think our equipment is better than the Russians’ anyway.”

“We have restrictions Congress has imposed on the United States in terms of [weapons] sales to Azerbaijan and Armenia because of the conflict, but there are exceptions to that,” Bolton explained to Azatutyun.am, saying that increasing Armenia’s options would decrease its dependence on “one major power.


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  1. Satenik said:

    Any better offer than selling arms and telling what they are going to do to Iran?

  2. Artin said:

    Buying weapons from the United States would be a HUGE mistake. 1) We would be buying overpriced weapons that simply aren’t worth it, 2) by spending the little money we have on those weapons, we would certainly anger Russia which is the ONLY state that guarantees Armenia’s independence & security. Do you think the United States would EVER fight for Armenia if their ally Turkey attacked or if their pawn, azerbaijan attacked? & 3) Submitting to the whims of the United States would turn our small, newly independent & homogenous nation into a client state of the US, a virtual slave state. Look what US “friendship” has done to Europe, specifically Eastern European nations like Ukraine? Do we want that to happen to Armenia? I agree the relationship with Russia is certainly one sided & it needs work, but buying US weapons would be the first step on the inevitable path to giving up our independence & our way of life. Looking at the big picture, & quite frankly how much the west is declining while the east is rising, I think our future lies with Europe & Russia. It also wouldn’t hurt us to get friendlier with Iran & China as well as India. The US is not & SHOULD NOT be part of the future path of our nation.

  3. Edward Demiraiakian said:

    Did anyone mention to John Bolton the Wilsonian Grant and the big debt that the allies owe Armenia? If the US wants to sell weapons to Armenia, Let it be to Western Armenia. The American mandate gives the US the right and responsibility to station troops in Armenia, and do everything else necessary for its survival. Western Armenia would be much bigger than Eastern Armenia.

  4. JOE said:

    Trust this man ZERO! Hes a rabid Zionist and can care less about anything or anyone other then Israel and its geopolitical position..His only goal is squeezing Iran and will gladly throw Armenia and Artsakh in the trash bin to achieve his morbid goals. Hopefully soon enough the useless Trump administration will be done and so will Bolton. TRUST THE USA ZERO! All US foreign policy goes through the Israeli lobby and Azerbaijan is way more cooperative as a Zionist out post against Iran and not to mention Azerbaijan buys Israeli war weapons USED ON ARMENIANS buy the billions, and in return receives 40% of their oil from Azerbaijan..Armenia doesn’t need another enemy to its south and east. Iran will be there long after this war peddler, at all our expense of course, is gone..IGNORE THIS MAN…

  5. berj said:

    The song of Syrens. Pashinian, if he heeds Bolton, will take Armenia to a point of no return. Calamitous times lie ahead. One does not have to be a Cassandrato to forsee the dangers of trying to tango with the Boltons and his class.

    • Raffi said:

      People should ask, who brought Pashinian to power, who financed his movement, who’s behind him, how come they so easily manipulated the minds of the Armenian people, Pashinian’s path if continues with US, ”is bread for today and hunger for tomorrow” (Spanish Proverb)

  6. Zartir Lao said:

    This is actually a positive event, in order to make Mother Russia get a dose of reality. The most important thing Armenia can do is to actually get an Armenia-USA treaty whereby the USA will guarantee to keep Turkey out of Armenia, especially an agreement where the USA Incirlik base could be used to protect Armenia. Only then Russia’s scam of making Armenia pay for a Russian base could be revealed, and Russia made to pay Armenia instead of the other way around like all other imperialists do to their pawn nations. A century ago, Russia created the mess Armenia is in, and now are refusing to correct the mistakes against Armenia of the past, therefore, Armenia needs to seek different options, since it is obvious that Russian profit with its pet Azerbaijan is more valued to them than a real friendship and alliance with Armenia.

      • Zartir Lao said:

        Not possible and useless when ridiculous Armenian government can’t even protect villages on border with Azerbaijan.

  7. Raffi said:

    How can Armenia trust US, if U.S. is willing to sell arms to Armenia and Azerbaijan both countries at the same time, US well knows that Armenia is a poor country and does not have Azerbaijan’s deep pockets, further more ”Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away”, it isn’t worth to barter US with RUSSIA who is more reliable and honest.

  8. Vagharshak Sevulyan said:

    If we do this , we are going to anger Russians, American sells weapon one reason , to be close to Russia, We should continue good relation with Iran and Russia, America can not be trusted , American agenta is play Isreal games. Take over Armenia entirely countries resources , banking , media . Ruin Armenia same as they did Iraq,Syria, and more other countries all over the world, look what American did after 9/11 for 4,000 killed Americans , they destroyed entire Middle East just for Isreal. Armenian Goverment should not fall this game , will be total disaster for Armenia , will be over for us. Stay away this kind of traps, Armenia learn from our past history. Keep your existing friendly countries like Russia and Iran.

  9. Vagharshak Sevulyan said:

    U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton holds a press briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan on Oct. 25, 2018, throw out of our beautiful Armenia, He is going to visit Russia and Azerbaijan. He is a Zionist-Jew working for Isreal not for USA.Please stay away this type of deals.

  10. Norserunt said:

    US weapons are grossly over priced, very difficult to operate and maintain and they work besy only against enemies that wear sandals and turbins. Moreover, American officials are war criminals and they only serve the interests of the Zionist state. Therefore, American officials and their war toys are not welcome in Armenia. No one, including Nikol and his Western funded cohorts, will be able to drive a wedge between Russia and Armenia. Russia and Armenia are locked in an embrace no one can break. No Russia in Armenia = no Armenia in the south Caucasus. No Armenia in the south Caucasus = no Russia in the strategic south Caucasus. Russians and Armenians have been natural allies for two hundred-plus years and will remain allies for well into the foreseeable future. God bless Russia. God bless Armenia. And may God help protect Russo-Armenian friendship from all enemies both foreign and domestic.