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Moscow Rebuffs Armenian PM’s Claims of Betrayal

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Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that it rejects Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s accusation that his country was abandoned by Moscow after Azerbaijan last week launched a military operation in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Pashinyan on Sunday blasted the Russian-Armenian strategic partnership as “insufficient,” signaling a major foreign policy shift away from its traditional ally.

He spoke days after Armenia’s rival Azerbaijan claimed full control over Nagorno-Karabakh after a lightning offensive.

“Pashinyan’s address contains unacceptable attacks on Russia and causes nothing but rejection,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Yerevan’s leadership is making a huge mistake by deliberately trying to destroy Armenia’s multifaceted and centuries-old ties with Russia,” it added, characterizing Pashinyan as “short-sighted” and “inconsistent.”

Moscow also accused Pashinyan of “systemically” undermining Russian-Armenian ties, claiming that Yerevan risks becoming “a hostage of the West’s geopolitical games.”

Armenia is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led group of six former-Soviet republics that pledges to protect other members under attack. 

But Moscow refused to come to Armenia’s aid amid Baku’s most recent attacks, arguing that Yerevan had itself recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan following a ceasefire in the 2020 war.

Armenia hosts a Russian military base in its second-largest city of Gyumri, while Russian peacekeepers were deployed in the region after the 44-day war in 2020.

The Kremlin said earlier Monday that it was unclear how long Russian peacekeepers would remain in Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijan’s victory.

“[Russian peacekeepers] are on Azerbaijan’s territory. . . contributing to the establishment of dialogue between the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijani authorities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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