YEREVAN, September 13. /TASS/. Armenia should distance itself from Moscow and try to get closer to the West, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an interview with Politico.
Politico wrote that Pashinyan said, “as a result of the events in Ukraine, the capabilities of Russia have changed.” Without giving the Armenian prime minister’s exact quotes, Politico reported that Pashinyan declared Armenia should not rely on its old ally Russia, but admitted “there was a long way to go before Western countries could be seen as offering the full support Armenia needs.”
“We want to have an independent country, a sovereign country, but we have to have ways to avoid ending up at the center of clashes between West and East, North and South,” the newspaper cited Pashinyan as saying.
He added that Armenia should try to decrease its dependency on others and described the model wherein the Armenians have to turn to others to protect them as a very faulty one.
The Armenian prime minister once again lambasted Russian peacekeepers for the events in the Lachin Corridor, but added the caveat that the situation would hardly be better if the Russian peacekeepers were not in the region.
Recently, the Armenian leadership has repeatedly bashed Moscow over the situation in the region. Moreover, Yerevan invited the EU civilian mission, which has been operating at the border with Azerbaijan since the beginning of 2023, and then called for enlarging the monitoring mission. On top of that, Armenia hosted the Eagle Partner joint military exercise with the United States in September.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Armenian officials’ statements more and more often look like “public rhetoric, which borders on something like boorishness,” while Moscow has more and more questions for Yerevan over Armenia’s recent steps. On September 8, Armenian Ambassador to Moscow Vagharshak Harutiunyan was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was given a stern talking to over Yerevan’s unfriendly moves. However, the Foreign Ministry emphasized that Moscow firmly proceeds from the premise that Russia and Armenia are allies and their agreements on fostering and bolstering relations will be fully implemented to benefit both countries.