YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — Russia denounced on Monday, September 4, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s fresh criticism of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh and his claims that Moscow is “unwilling or unable” to defend Armenia and may eventually leave the South Caucasus.
Highlighting unprecedented tensions between the two allied countries, a Russian official warned Yerevan against helping the West “squeeze Russia out” of the region.
In an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica daily publicized by his press office over the weekend, Pashinyan declared that his government is trying to “diversify our security policy” because Armenia’s long-standing heavy reliance on Russia has proved a “strategic mistake.”
“Armenia’s security architecture, including the logic of weapons and ammunition acquisition, has been connected to Russia by 99.999 percent,” he said. “But now that Russia itself needs weapons and munitions [amid the war in Ukraine] it is obvious that in this situation the Russian Federation could not provide for Armenia’s security needs even if it wanted to.”
“The Russian Federation has been in our region, the South Caucasus, for quite a long time. But we have seen situations when the Russian Federation simply left the South Caucasus in one day, one month or one year,” he went on, apparently referring to the 1917 collapse of the Russian Empire.
“There are processes that, of course, lead one to think that the same scenario could be repeated and that one day we will simply wake up and see that Russia is not here,” added Pashinyan.