Statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry in connection with the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation claims that the message of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on independence of 24 September 2023 consists of unacceptable invectives against Russia and causes nothing but rejection. This is reported by the website of the ministry.

Statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry in connection with the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia

The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasises that this is an attempt to absolve itself of responsibility for a failed foreign and domestic policy and an attempt to shift all responsibility and blame onto the Russian Federation. The statements of the Armenian Prime Minister once again confirm earlier conclusions that the processes destructive for his country and our allied relations are not episodic, but systemic in nature.

“The head of the government, in fact, admitted that all this time the republic was deliberately prepared to turn away from Russia. His steps, designed to set a new – western – vector of Armenia’s development, are unconvincingly justified by the alleged mistakes on the part of the Russian Federation and the CSTO. At the same time, they forget that our states have similar interests in security and development issues, while the United States and other NATO countries have set as their goal not only to inflict strategic damage on Russia, but also to destabilise our common Eurasian space,” the ministry said.

The ministry stresses that Moscow has always been faithful to the commitments it has given to its allies, as well as respected their Armenian statehood and never put the Republic before a choice: with Russia or against it. The Russian state has provided and continues to help brotherly Armenia with great assistance in the spheres of security, economy and culture.

“In the autumn of 2020, it was the efforts of the Russian Federation and personally of President V.V.Putin that made it possible to prevent Armenia’s complete defeat. If N.V.Pashinyan had agreed to the ceasefire weeks earlier, the defeat would have been less severe. Finally, the selfless activity of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK), sometimes at the cost of their own lives, is a direct confirmation of Russia’s continuing commitment to fulfil its extremely difficult mission in the interests of achieving peace between the Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples, which Pashinyan preferred to keep silent about,” the statement on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website reads.

The Ministry claims that instead of respecting the agreements of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia of November 2020 to leave the decision on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh to future generations, Pashinyan succumbed to the persuasions of the West. The politician in Prague and Brussels preferred to act on the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration, thereby recognising Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh.

“This fundamentally changed the conditions under which the trilateral statement of 9 November 2020 was signed, as well as the position of the Russian peacekeeping contingent. Due to the short-sightedness of the Armenian leadership it was not possible to implement a number of agreements in the sphere of strengthening Armenia’s security, in particular, Pashinyan did not sign the decision already agreed by all the foreign ministers of six countries on sending a CSTO observation mission to the republic’s regions bordering Azerbaijan,” the ministry said.

The situation was also inflamed by official Yerevan’s constant denial of the presence of Armenian armed formations in Nagorno-Karabakh after 9 November 2020. This was one of the key reasons for the latest escalation, which took place in September. With the mediation of the RCC, an agreement was reached on 20 September on the withdrawal of the remaining Armenian units and the complete disarmament of the “Nagorno-Karabakh Defence Army” with the withdrawal of heavy equipment and weapons. Such a situation revealed the real picture and created prerequisites for sustainable de-escalation.

“It is also noteworthy that at the aforementioned Prague and Brussels meetings under the auspices of the European Union, the Armenian Prime Minister, while recognising the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, did not recall the rights and security of the Karabakh Armenians. Even today we do not observe any strong interest of official Yerevan to help solve pressing problems in Nagorno-Karabakh – we are talking about creating favorable conditions for the ceasefire, improving the humanitarian situation, establishing a sustainable dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert,” the Ministry stressed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry claims that such an irresponsible approach of Pashinyan’s team caused natural discontent in part of the Armenian society and it was expressed in popular protests. Official Yerevan’s claims that they were instigated by the Russian Federation have nothing to do with the current reality.

“The head of the Armenian Government should be well aware that Moscow does not do such things – unlike the West, which is quite adept at organising “colour revolutions”, but by a strange coincidence chose not to notice the numerous facts of persecution of protesters by the authorities in Yerevan. At the same time, as is well known, the US Ambassador maintains close contacts with the Government. Against this background, a real anti-Russian bacchanalia has been unfolded in the Armenian media clearly at the behest of the authorities. We are convinced that the leadership of Yerevan is making a huge mistake, deliberately trying to destroy Armenia’s multifaceted and centuries-old ties with Russia and making the country hostage to the geopolitical games of the West. We are sure that the overwhelming majority of the Armenian population realises this,” the ministry concluded.