Armenia expresses concern over Russia's role in Caucasus crisis

Armenia expresses concern over Russia's role in Caucasus crisis
A+ A-
Pashinyan describes Armenia's dependence on Russia as unsustainable and potentially detrimental.

Recent developments have again brought the tenuous relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan into the spotlight. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan informed parliamentarians that Azerbaijan responded to Armenia's peace treaty proposals on September 12. While discussions are ongoing, Mirzoyan acknowledged that significant differences remain between the two nations. "Unfortunately, there are significant issues where the parties' positions are very far from each other," he stated.

In a recent interview with POLITICO, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan expressed his concerns about the reliability of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh. He argued that they have fallen short in their duties, especially after incidents like the closure of the Lachin Corridor, a critical link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. According to Pashinyan, this closure caused a humanitarian crisis that the Russian peacekeepers were supposed to prevent. While he critiqued their performance, he added, "I can't say though that if the Russian peacekeepers hadn't been in Nagorno-Karabakh, the situation would now be better."

Pashinyan emphasized Armenia's desire for increased independence from external influence. Referencing the nation's reliance on Russia for security, he declared this dependence unsustainable and potentially harmful. "The model by which we have problems with our neighbors, and we have to invite others to protect us... is a very vulnerable model," he remarked.

The Prime Minister supported peace talks facilitated by the U.S., EU, and Russia. However, he also highlighted the need for more support from Western nations in realizing Armenia's objectives. Pashinyan expressed Armenia's commitment to establishing regional connections but vehemently opposed any propositions compromising Armenian sovereignty. Responding to speculations about the 'Zangezur corridor,' Pashinyan clarified that Armenia favors regional transport projects as long as they respect Armenia's territorial jurisdiction. "Any statement questioning the sovereignty or jurisdiction of the Republic of Armenia is unacceptable to us. Not only is this unacceptable, this is a red line for us," he asserted.