MOSCOW (Azatutyun) — The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Armenia’s ambassador on Friday, September 8, to protest against what it described as “a series of unfriendly steps” taken by Yerevan against Moscow in recent days.
The ministry listed the Armenian government’s decision to host a joint US-Armenian military exercise, this week’s visit to Ukraine by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s wife and the Armenian parliament’s anticipated ratification of the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court, which issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this year.
In a statement, it said Ambassador Vagharshak Harutyunyan heard a “tough presentation” regarding these moves. He was also handed a note of protest against Armenian parliament speaker Alen Simonyan’s “offensive remarks” addressed to Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Zakharova had scorned Pashinyan earlier in the week after he had declared that he wants to “diversify our security policy” because he believes Armenia’s military alliance with Russia has been a “strategic mistake.” Zakharova went on to decry Simonyan’s “boorish” criticism of Russian peacekeepers stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“I’m not going to respond to some female secretary,” Simonyan shot back the following day. “It’s not my level.”
The Foreign Ministry in Moscow insisted on Friday that Russia and Armenia “remain allies.”