Russian Foreign Minister Accuses West of Driving Wedge Between Armenia and Russia
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday that resolving the situation around the Lachin Corridor, which has been blockaded by Azerbaijan since December 12, and generally Nagorno Karabakh are priorities for Moscow.
“We have no doubts that the key to implementing all our decisions still remains within the trilateral statements between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, for the benefit of stabilizing the situation military, politically, economically and from perspective of international law,” Lavrov said during his meeting with Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan in Moscow on Monday.
He added that Russia will continue to support by all means Armenia and Azerbaijan in the issues of unblocking the transport routes in the region, delimitation of the border and agreeing the parameters of the peace treaty.
Mirzoyan emphasized that Azerbaijan’s aggressive policy toward Nagorno-Karabakh and the sovereign territory of Armenia and its aggressive rhetoric aim to aggravate the situation in the region and prepare the ground for new aggression.
The imperative for condemning these practices, as well as the use and threat of force were emphasized, according to a press statement from Armenia’s foreign ministry.
During the meeting on Monday, Mirzoyan emphasized the need for the effective steps by the Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno Karabakh in preventing provocations by the Azerbaijani side, maintaining the ceasefire regime in the area of responsibility of the peacekeepers, and ensuring security in Nagorno Karabakh.
During a joint press conference with Lavrov, Mirzoyan emphasized the importance of the Russian peacekeeping contingent’s role in Nagorno Karabakh in preventing a humanitarian disaster during the blockade.
He also warned that Azerbaijan has unilaterally begun the repopulation process of Azerbaijanis in Nagorno Karabakh, whereas the Armenian side is not carrying out the process due to the absence of the required international mechanisms.
Saying that such a mission would prevent Azerbaijan from carrying out its plans to ethnically cleanse Artsakh of its Armenians, Mirzoyan added that Yerevan is anticipating Russia’s support in sending an international fact-finding mission to the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Earlier, Mirzoyan spoke about Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade of the Lachin Corridor and said that Azerbaijan is violating every clause of the trilateral statement and is not complying with the ICJ ruling on opening the Lachin Corridor.
“International participation is needed for genocide prevention, an international fact-finding mission must also be sent to the part of Lachin Corridor and Nagorno Karabakh. We hope that there’ll be cooperation with the Russian side in this matter,” Mirzoyan said.
Lavrov did not support the idea and continued to press the sides to comply with the provisions of agreement signed between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.
The Russian foreign minister used his meeting with Mirzoyan to accuse the West of trying to end Russia’s close relationship with Armenia.
“We see undisguised attempts by Western countries to drive a wedge between Armenia and Russia … undermine the regional security architecture while thinking and caring not about the interests of the countries located here but about their own vested geopolitical interests,” Lavrov told reporters during the joint press conference, alleging that Western powers are seeking to hijack agreements between Armenia and Azerbaijan that were brokered by Moscow.
Lavrov indicated that a planned meeting of the Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign minister will take place soon.
The top Russian diplomat said he was “sincerely satisfied with the results of today’s talks” with Mirzoyan.
“We spoke frankly, as befits between friends,” Lavrov said. “I am sure that this conversation will contribute to the further growth of mutual understanding and deepening of ties between Russia and Armenia.”