Russia swiftly responded to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s recent address, in which he accused Russia and the peacekeepers in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh (Garabagh) region of failing to fulfill their obligations to ensure Armenia’s security and protect Armenians residing in the Karabakh region.
In a statement released on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry strongly criticized Pashinyan’s address, deeming it to contain “unacceptable insinuations against Russia and capable only of eliciting repudiation.”
“What we are witnessing is an attempt to shift responsibility for failures in domestic and foreign policies onto Moscow,” the statement further stated.
During his address to the nation on Sunday, Pashinyan asserted that Russia had let Armenia down by not providing more assistance in the Karabakh region, hinting at the need to reconsider Armenia’s security alliances.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry responded by accusing the Armenian government of seeking closer ties with the West and distancing itself from Russia.
“The most recent utterances by Nikol Pashinyan confirm our earlier conclusions that the processes driven by Western influence and encouraged by official Yerevan are systemic rather than sporadic and detrimental to their own country and our alliance,” the ministry said.
In the statement, the ministry highlighted that the head of the Armenian government had, in fact, admitted that Armenia had been deliberately prepared for a shift away from Russia.
“There have been unconvincing attempts to justify his actions aimed at setting a different - Western - direction for Armenia by pointing to alleged mistakes made by the Russian Federation and the CSTO while forgetting the many common interests in security and development our countries share,” the ministry added.
Last week, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces successfully conducted one-day anti-terror operation aimed at disabling Armenian army forces and military infrastructure in the Karabakh region. The operation followed the intensifying Armenian attacks on Azerbaijani positions and the recent deadly mine incidents, resulting in the deaths of Azerbaijani police officers and road construction workers. Also, two servicemen of the Azerbaijani army stationed in the Aghdam district were wounded by Armenian armed formations illegally deployed in the Azerbaijani territories temporarily monitored by the Russian peacekeeping contingent.
By the time hostilities ceased on September 20, the Azerbaijani military had disabled artillery systems, radio-electronic warfare equipment, military vehicles, ammunition depots, military strongholds, and shelters of Armenian army formations stationed in the Karabakh region. Azerbaijani troops specifically targeted legitimate military targets during the conflict, avoiding strikes on civilians and civilian infrastructure.
The counter-terrorism measures concluded after the agreement was reached under a set of terms, including the requirement for Armenia’s armed forces in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and illegal armed groups to disarm, withdraw from battle positions and military posts, and undergo complete disarmament. Armenia’s armed forces were also obligated to leave Azerbaijani territory, and illegal Armenian armed groups were to be disbanded. Simultaneously, the surrender of all ammunition and military equipment was mandated, with the process being closely coordinated with the Russian peacekeeping contingent.
Baku pledged to protect the rights of Armenians residing in the Karabakh region and reintegrate them into Azerbaijani society in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Azerbaijan.