Armenia also is likely to be protected because Washington appreciates its difficult geopolitical situation, said Suren Sargsyan, an Armenian foreign affairs analyst. “It’s a similar situation to when Iran was under international sanctions, and the US closed its eyes to the many aspects of cooperation between Yerevan and Tehran, understanding well that Iran was one of only two corridors to the outside world for Armenia, squeezed between a blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey,” he told EADaily.
Nevertheless, the ambiguity is forcing allies to at least think about their deals with Russia. “The president can impose sanctions on anyone buying arms from Russia,” said Mitchell Orenstein, an expert on post-Soviet foreign relations at the University of Pennsylvania. “Trump has not yet imposed such sanctions, [and] that leaves US allies and others wondering what Trump policy may be. It’s difficult to discern,” he told Eurasianet.