Nikol Pashinyan spoke with journalists about Armenia’s foreign policy in the context of complex relations between Russia, the European Union and NATO
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said today that Russia will not allow war in the region:
“I do not believe that Russia, a strategic partner and friend of Armenia, would not run to make use of the resources it has in order to prevent the resumption of hostilities in the region”.
Pashinyan meanwhile stated his readiness to continue the negotiation process on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. However, he excluded the possibility of unilateral concessions:
“The aggressive, militaristic rhetoric of Azerbaijan is unacceptable to us. We periodically tell the co-chairs that we are ready for a settlement, but for this we need an atmosphere of confidence which Azerbaijan is destroying. You will not see any such step from Armenia. When we receive a signal that Azerbaijan is ready for mutual concessions, we will discuss, not only at the government level, but wholly as a people, what the limits of concessions are for us.”
Pashinyan also commented on his participation in the NATO summit and the resulting negative reaction from Russia. He noted that he did not participate in events that would contradict the general line of Armenia’s foreign policy.
Pashinyan once again stressed that Armenia will not be making any drastic changes in its foreign policy vector. Armenia will remain in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) which operates under the auspices of Russia.
This was said in the context of Belarus, a CSTO member, selling weapons to Azerbaijan which is not part of the organization and is in conflict with Armenia:
“As for the meeting with the President of Belarus, this issue [arms sales to Azerbaijan – ed] was raised, and I voiced my concern. This issue will remain on the agenda. If we are in the CSTO, then you have obligations towards us, as we do to you.
“Our task is to raise the productivity of our participation in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and, consequently, to increase the productivity of the CSTO, and for this we will do everything.”
As for relations with the European Union, Pashinyan believes that not everyone in Brussels notices changes in Armenia:
“Many EU partners stated at meetings with me that they expect changes in Armenia. I am surprised that there are officials in the European Union who do not notice the changes in Armenia.
“We did nothing, and do not intend to, for the sake of financial assistance [from European structures]. All that we do, we do to justify the mandate that the people entrusted to us. I want this to be clear.”
Pashinyan also commented on the scandalous calls of Russian pranksters Lexus (Alexei Stolyarov) and Vovan (Vladimir Kuznetsov) on his behalf to high-ranking EU officials. The pranksters talked with the chairman of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, and then the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogerini for almost 20 minutes:
“In addition to humor, I see a desire to clarify certain political information. I think the makers of these calls are trying to understand how, for example, the European Union has contributed to the revolutionary processes in Armenia. I hope they clarified it and are finished. I asked our diplomats to inform our European partners that I did not speak with them on the phone.”