Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an interview published on Sunday that his country was not Russia’ ally in its war against Ukraine, and stressed that its military cooperation projects were not directed against any single country.
Pashinyan also said he hoped that Armenia’s neighbor and longstanding rival, Azerbaijan, remained committed to the conclusion of a durable peace treaty, despite statements by its president about demarcating borders.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought two major wars in the past 30 years over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The region has long been recognized as part of Azerbaijan and Azeri troops secured full control over it in September last year.
Photo: EPA-EFE / Dmitry Astakhov / Sputnik / Government Press Service Pool
Pashinyan has said in the past few months that Armenia could no longer rely on Russia to ensure its defense needs as his country had not secured the help it had needed from Moscow.
Speaking to the UK’s Daily Telegraph, Pashinyan said he had said from the outset of Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine that Armenia could not stand alongside Moscow as an ally.
“I said, in the Ukraine situation, we are not Russia’s ally, and that’s the reality,” Pashinyan told the newspaper.
“But I want to also tell you that with the US or France or other partners, our security cooperation is not targeted against our other security sector partner,” he said.
Armenia is approaching the notion of relationships on its security alliances “by utmost transparently speaking with our partners about their shared agendas,” he said.
He said that his country has no intention of considering membership of NATO, which Ukraine has reaffirmed and Russia has denounced as unacceptable.
Nato membership “is not a question we have discussed or are discussing,” he added.
He repeated that Armenia is considering whether to stay in the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization.
On the prospects for a long-term peace deal with Azerbaijan, Pashinyan said “the basic architecture” of an agreement had been reached last year, “and at the end of last year, it seemed to us that we were very close, finally, to a final text of agreement.”
However, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, re-elected in a landslide last week, last month raised questions in an interview by saying that his troops would not pull back from border areas.
He also dismissed the use of Soviet-era maps in talks, as he said territorial concessions had been made to Armenia last century.
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