MOSCOW (RFE/RL) — The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed Armenian Parliament Speaker Alen Simonyan on Friday, December 3, for his reported claim that Russia sought to restore Azerbaijani control over Nagorno-Karabakh through peace proposals made before last year’s war.
Simonyan was quoted as making the claim in a recent interview with several Russian journalists. He responded to one of those journalists who accused the Armenian government of “surrendering” Karabakh to Azerbaijan with the aim of ending Armenia alliance with Russia.
“For its part, the Armenian society is opinion of the opinion that Russia surrendered Karabakh,” Simonyan said in comments published by Russian media last week. ”In anybody [in Armenia] wanted to surrender anything, there were several variants of doing that, including the Lavrov plan.”
The Armenian speaker, who is a key political ally of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, referred to a peace plan that was drafted by US, Russian and French mediators and reportedly promoted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The plan was based on the so-called Madrid Principles of a Karabakh settlement, which were first put forward by the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in 2007.
A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry scoffed at the claim attributed to Simonyan.