Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday warned leaders attending an economic summit in the Russian city of Vladivostok, that the international focus on the Ukraine conflict could threaten the stability of the South Caucasus.
“These are unusual times for our region as well, because there are challenges here that have existed for a long time and they are primarily related to security. How is this related to the current situation? When the attention of the entire international community, and especially the Russian Federation, Armenia’s strategic ally in the field of security, is focused on the situation around Ukraine, there are concrete concerns that this may lead to destabilization of the situation in our region,” said Pashinyan.
He drew a correlation between the current situation and 2020, saying when the entire world was focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, Azerbaijan attacked Artsakh.
“You know that in 2020 we went through war, when the situation was similar with the fact that back then, when Azerbaijan launched the war, the international community, including Russia, was entirely focused on the issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we hope that through close cooperation with Russia, as well as our other partners, we will be able to manage and control the regional situation, which is highly important for global security as well,” added Pashinyan.
“There are forces that believe that Russia, which is a key security factor in our region is very busy with the Ukrainian issue, and this can be used as an opportunity to destabilize the situation. It may seem ridiculous, but there is a situation where there are forces that spend a lot of energy to present Armenia in Moscow as a state with a pro-Western government, and to present Armenia in Europe and the West as strongly pro-Russian, using this as a factor to destabilize the situation in the region. I am very glad that we are in a close dialogue with our partners on these issues, trying to clarify our positions on all issues of the international agenda. Of course, our relations with Russia have been and remain and should remain allied and strategic. We hope that this factor will be key for stability and peace in our region,” said Pashinyan.
During his presentation, Pashinyan also discussed the Karabakh issue and negotiations with Azerbaijan.
“We are engaged in intensive contacts with Azerbaijan regarding the Nagorno Karabakh issue. In this context we again expect Russia’s support not only as Armenia’s strategic ally: Russia is a very close partner for Azerbaijan too, which is also creating opportunities. I’d like to also underscore Russia’s important role as a co-chairing country in the OSCE Minsk Group,” Pashinyan said.
He briefed those gathered about the various commission currently working to open transport links, as well as advance the process of delimitation and demarcation of the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Pashinyan also touched on the normalization process with Turkey and expressed hope that the effort will reach its fruition with “Russia’s support.”