Following the September 13 Azerbaijani attacks on Armenia, which led to more than 200 casualties and the occupation of a swath of Armenian territory, a flurry of intense diplomatic activity has taken place.
The US State Department and French President Emmanuel Macron have issued stern statements blaming Azerbaijan as the aggressor and calling for the withdrawal of its forces from Armenia’s sovereign territory. That stance injected some assertiveness into Armenia’s diplomacy; thus Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan took to task his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, demanding from the Kremlin a clear position on the grave situation.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also blamed the passive stance of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which is supposed to defend its members against foreign aggression.
These actions were accompanied by some substantive summits in Brussels and Prague, as well as high-level visits of delegations to Armenia, resulting in concrete actions.
As a result of these developments, the European Union dispatched a contingent of 40 civilian monitors to observe the damage caused by Azerbaijan’s military attacks on Armenia’s border towns. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also took the initiative of sending a technical group to the border, in preparation for the arrival of a full-scale observation group.
As the Western mediation began making headway, Russia felt that the West was trying to squeeze it out of Caucasus, as Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said. Because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, it had been losing its singular foothold in the Caucasus and its impotnce in view of evolving events could no longer sustain its reign in the region.