Russia blames Karabakh crisis on Armenia

Russia blames Karabakh crisis on Armenia

PanARMENIAN.Net - The deepening humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh caused by Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin corridor was made possible by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s decision to recognize Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, Russia said on Wednesday, August 30.

The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed to Pashinian’s controversial move as it responded to Armenian criticism of Moscow’s failure to unblock Karabakh’s sole land link with the outside world and prevent recent Azerbaijani arrests of four Karabakh men travelling to Armenia through the corridor, RFE/RL’s Armenain service reports.

“I would like to remind that the current situation in the Lachin corridor is a consequence of Armenia’s recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of the territory of Azerbaijan,” said the ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova. “This was formalized as a result of summits attended by the leaders of the two countries under the aegis of the European Union in October 2022 and May 2023.”

“We believe that placing the blame in this context on the Russian peacekeeping contingent is inappropriate, wrong and unjustified,” Zakharova told a news briefing.

The Russian Foreign Ministry already stated on July 15 that Pashinian’s decision to recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh “radically changed the underlying conditions” in which the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiated an agreement to end the 2020 war in Karabakh. The truce agreement committed Baku to ensuring unhindered commercial traffic through the Lachin corridor.

The Armenian opposition has likewise said that Pashinian’s far-reaching concession to Baku emboldened the latter to tighten the screws on the Karabakh Armenians. Opposition leaders have also pointed out that Azerbaijan remains reluctant to recognize Armenia’s own territorial integrity.

Pashinian complained on August 3 that Baku is seeking to sign the kind of peace treaty with Yerevan that would not preclude Azerbaijani territorial claims to Armenia. A senior Russian diplomat criticized the following day what he described as Western attempts to “artificially” speed up the signing of the Armenian-Azerbaijani treaty.

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