Kremlin: Pashinyan shifts blame of own failures onto Moscow
In a stern rebuke, Russia has cautioned Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan against what it sees as a dangerous flirtation with Western powers amid escalating tensions over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Pashinyan, in an address to the nation on Sunday, expressed frustration with Russia's role in the recent crisis in the breakaway region, blaming Moscow for not providing sufficient support to avert the conflict. He hinted at the possibility of transforming Armenia's security alliances, raising concerns in Moscow.
The Russian Foreign Ministry responded with a strongly worded statement, accusing the Yerevan leadership of making a grave mistake by deliberately damaging Armenia's long-standing ties with Russia and aligning the country with Western geopolitical interests.
"We are convinced that the Yerevan leadership is making a massive mistake by deliberately trying to destroy Armenia’s multi-faceted and centuries-old ties with Russia while making the country hostage to the geopolitical games of the West," the statement read.
Azerbaijan's rapid military offensive last week resulted in the seizure of Nagorno-Karabakh, forcing thousands of ethnic Armenians to flee into Armenia. Baku has pledged to safeguard the rights of the approximately 120,000 Armenians residing in the disputed region. However, many remain skeptical of these assurances.
Internationally, Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized as Azerbaijani territory.
Russia, which maintains around 2,000 peacekeepers in the region, accused Pashinyan of attempting to shift blame for failures in domestic and foreign policy onto Moscow. The Russian Foreign Ministry also interpreted Pashinyan's remarks about transforming alliances as a sign of Armenia's potential pivot away from its traditionally close relationship with Russia toward Western powers.
Furthermore, Russia alleged that the Armenian authorities had fueled anti-Russian sentiment in the country's media and denied any involvement in recent protests in Yerevan. In a warning, Moscow asserted that while it refrains from meddling in revolutions, the West possesses the capability to organize "color revolutions."
"The head of the Armenian government should be well aware that Moscow does not get involved in such things – unlike the West which is pretty adept at organizing 'colour revolutions,'" Russia stated.
Russia has previously accused the United States of instigating "color revolutions" in several post-Soviet republics, including Ukraine.