Russia hit back at Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan after he claimed that Armenia’s “security allies” plotted regime change while 100,000 Artsakh residents were being displaced by Azerbaijan last month.
In an address to the European Parliament on Tuesday, Pashinyan also blamed the Russian peacekeeping forces for the displacement of Artsakh Armenians, following Azerbaijan’s large-scale attack.
“At the time when 100,000 Armenians were fleeing Nagorno Karabakh to the Republic of Armenia, our security allies not only did not help us, but also made public calls for a change of power in Armenia, to overthrow the democratic government,” Pashinyan told the European legislative body, adding that Armenia “is ready for closer relations with the EU.”
Russia’s state Tass news agency on Wednesday cited a “high-ranking source in Moscow” as condemning Pashinyan’s speech and accusing the EU — and the West — of “turning Armenia into another Ukraine.”
“We regard Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s speech in the European Parliament on October 17 as absolutely irresponsible and provocative, especially with regard to Russia and Russian-Armenian relations,” the unnamed source told Tass.
“We see how they [the West] are trying to turn Armenia into Ukraine No. 3 — if we consider Moldova as Ukraine No. 2 — and Pashinyan is following in [Ukraine President’ Volodymyr Zelensky’s footsteps of by leaps and bounds,” the source added.
There was no official comment about Pashinyan’s speech from the Kremlin or the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.
Pashinyan also told the European Parliament that Armenia is ready to sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, however, blaming Baku for its destabilizing approach toward the ongoing talks.
In response to Pashinyan’s speech Baku said Wednesday that Armenia is determined to “undermine the prospects of a peace agreement”.
In a statement, Azerbaijan’s foreign minister said Armenia is not giving up “its claims to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan,” despite the fact that Pashinyan restated Armenia’s recognition of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity during the European Parliament speech.
Pashinyan did emphasized that Armenia is against land link to Azerbaijan through Armenia, but is ready to restore the Meghri railway, build a highway, simplify procedures, and ensure the safety of Azerbaijanis.
The Armenian leader warned European lawmakers that President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan was using the so-called “corridor” through Armenia issue as a pretext for a new attack on Armenia and its sovereign territories.
Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry accused Yerevan of not fulfilling its obligations as it pertains to the opening of transport routes in the region.
“Armenia is well aware that it is committed to ensure the unhindered movement and safety of citizens, vehicles and cargo, as well as to ensure the construction of new transport links connecting the western regions of Azerbaijan to Nakhichevan. Unfortunately, it [Yerevan] os squandering those opportunities,” Azerbaijan’s foreign minister said Tuesday.