YEREVAN—Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday called on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to clarify comments he made on Monday regarding an agreement that is being hammered out between Moscow and Yerevan to curtail “foreign” military presence in Armenia.
“We are completing with Armenia the drafting of a document which will guarantee the absence of foreign military personnel there [in Armenia,]” Lavrov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station. “It will guarantee transparency in terms of threats and risks.”
Lavrov made the statement in response to a question about biological research laboratories which have been donated by the United States to Armenia to be used for food safety and other such uses. Russian voiced no concerns about the facilities when its officials inspected the laboratories.
Speaking to reporters in Dilijan on Wednesday, Pashinyan said that such an agreement was under discussion during the previous regime.
“A similar agreement was discussed with the Armenian authorities in the past. We have never discussed that issue with our Russian partners during the period of our government. It’s necessary for Mr. Lavrov to clarify what he meant,” said Pashinyan.
Pashinyan also responded to a high-level Russian official who claimed on Wednesday that the United States was exerting pressure on Armenia.
On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin accused the United States of meddling in Armenia’s affairs and alleged that during his visit to Armenia last month, President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton “ordered” Armenia to purchase weapons from the United Sates.
“Against the background of radical changes taking place in the country [Armenia] this year, Washington’s interference in its internal and external affairs is becoming increasingly unceremonious,” Karasin told the RIA Novosti news agency.
“We expect that the current leadership of Armenia, which received a necessary mandate in the [December 9] parliamentary elections, will have the courage to resist the unhidden external blackmail and pressure and will defend its sovereign right to independently make decisions based on national interests,” added Karasin, who insisted that Bolton had also pressured Yerevan to join U.S. sanctions on Iran.
“If this is the public side of U.S.-Armenian relations then one can imagine what kind of arm-twisting is taking place behind the scenes,” said Karasin.
While speaking to reporters in Dilijan, Pashinyan questioned the source of Karasin’s information that prompted him to make such a statement.
“The Republic of Armenia pursues its own policy and I think if not everyone, at least many see that. And Armenia will continue that policy,” said Pashinyan who added that currently, Armenia has not been presented with opportunities to purchase weapons from the United States.
Wherever the security and interest of Armenia lies, that should be our policy.
This is classic Thugocracy at work. The agreement is being written behind “closed-doors” without Armenian participation. It will only be revealed to Armenian officials during the signing ceremony. No need for Armenian input and unnecessary travel to Moscow for deliberations. The agreement will be sure to cover all pertinent concerns to Russian security. End of discussion!
Armenia is a sovereign country. Why did Armenia let Russian officials inspect the laboratory? Why does Armenia let Russia interfere in Armenia’s internal affairs? Russia prevents Armenia taking its own decisions and prevent the countrys development! It is a shame for Armenia and Armenians !
…..Why did Armenia let Russian officials inspect the laboratory?…… , Why did Iran let US officials inspect their laboratory?, Why did Iraq let US officials inspect their laboratory?, comparing to them Armenia is a small nut.
You can thank Russia’s lapdog Sargisyan for that.
It is very clear. Russia would like to stop USA and NATO influence in Armenia. The present armenian authorities must think twice before taking any step that will provoke Russia.
If what you’re saying is true then Armenia must work double time to distance itself from the thugocracy. Otherwise, we’ll find ourselves in perpetual hegemony from Mother Russia.
Armenia is too small of a nut to stand alone, he’s destined to belong to one of the two axes, East or West, to replace Russia with untrustworthy West means to replace bad with worst.
BRAVO PRIME MINISTER!!!! STAND UP FOR ARMENIA!!!!!!! ARMENIA MUST MAKE DECISIONS FOR ITS BEST INTERESTS!!!!!!!!!
Is it necessary to mention that we all want an Armenia which is 100 percent free and independent?
Unfortunately, it’s a pipe-dream. Without the Russian shield, we would become prey to Turkey and Turkey Jr. Azerbaijan.
Our economy is closely tied to that of Russia’s. Armenians living in Russia send billions of dollars to their families, relatives, etc.
Much of Armenia’s infrastructure is owned by Russia.
So let’s not pretend these are not facts. We need Russia. However, as their ally, we expect respect from Kremlin. We are not a colony. Besides, proportionately more Armenians than Russians died during the Second World War to liberate the Soviet Union/Russia.
Whatever offers Russia to Armenia is more than any country in the world have offered to Armenia so far, I ask everybody to approach with respect to Russia, I firmly believe that Russia is more trustworthy friend to Armenia than the West., Armenians before bashing Russia they should ask with whom we can replace Russia with, the answer should be enough to understand that Russia is Armenia’s best option, especially now that Trump betrayed the Kurds and left to Russia’s mercy the whole Middle East and the south Caucasus.