Russia Deplores Turkish Reaction to Germany’s Armenian Genocide Bill

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visits the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on April 22, 2016 (Photo: Photolure)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visits the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on April 22, 2016 (Photo: Photolure)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visits the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on April 22, 2016

MOSCOW (RFE/RL)Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov deplored Turkey’s furious reaction to a German parliamentary resolution that recognized the 1915 Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.

“Turkey periodically provokes scandals and insults its partners, including in Europe,” Lavrov told Russian state television. “I believe that its reaction to the German parliament’s decision is absolutely inadequate.”

Ankara recalled the Turkish ambassador in Berlin on June 2 immediately after the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany’s parliament, overwhelmingly passed the resolution. It accused German lawmakers of distorting history and seriously damaging Turkish-German relations.

Russia had recognized the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks as genocide with a similar resolution adopted by its parliament in 1995. Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed that recognition in April 2015. Two days later, Putin flew to Yerevan to attend and speak at official Armenian commemorations of the genocide centennial.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned both Putin and the State Duma. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also hit out at his Russian counterpart.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara were rather warm at that time. They deteriorated sharply after a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border in November 2015.

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