Ambassador Sergei Kopyrkin

YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — Russia’s ambassador to Armenia, Sergei Kopyrkin, has returned to Yerevan more than two weeks after being recalled to Moscow for consultations amid heightened tensions between the two states.

“Sergei Pavlovich has been to consultations and, as far as I know, he is already in Yerevan,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin told the RIA Novosti news agency on Monday.

Galuzin seemed to downplay the recall, calling it “an absolutely standard procedure that is often used.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier gave a similar explanation to journalists.

Kopyrkin was summoned to Moscow on May 24 two days after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan claimed that two member states of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) helped Azerbaijan prepare for the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman challenged Pashinyan to name those countries. He is believed to have referred to Russia and Belarus.

Russian-Armenian relations have worsened significantly since the 2020 war, with Yerevan seeking closer ties with the West and accusing Moscow of not honoring its security commitments to Armenia. Earlier this year, Pashinyan repeatedly threatened to pull his country out of the CSTO. Lavrov charged in March that Pashinyan’s government is “leading things to the collapse of Russian-Armenian relations” at the behest of the West.

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