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Armenian official accuses Russia of ‘returning’ Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan

27 June 2024
Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan. Image by Armenian Security Council.

Armenia’s Security Council Secretary has accused Russia of ‘taking Nagorno-Karabakh’ from Armenia and ‘returning it’ to Azerbaijan, in a statement condemned by both Moscow and Baku.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan said that he ‘insisted’ that Russia ‘came, took Nagorno-Karabakh from our hands, returned it to Azerbaijan, and went back.’

Grigoryan went on to state that the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War ‘would not have happened’ without Russia’s consent.

He also noted that Armenia's military cooperation with Russia, on whom Armenia was ‘completely dependent’, had dropped from ‘96% to less than 10%’, and added that that was ‘Russia’s decision and choice’.

‘Russia decided not to supply weapons and ammunition, and they still haven’t supplied them to this day,’ said Grigoryan. He added that Russia meanwhile ‘regularly complains’ that Armenia was buying weapons from other countries. 

He also claimed that while Russia attributes delays in delivering ammunition to the war against Ukraine, some delayed shipments date back to 2021, before the invasion.

‘I don't want to give names, but I want to say that a high-ranking official from Armenia was once told that if Russia supplies Armenia with arms and ammunition, Armenia’s positions will become tougher [towards Russia]. That is also the reason why they do not supply [weapons]’, said Grigoryan.


‘Such figures humiliate their own people’

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova harshly criticised Grigoryan’s statement, stating that ‘such figures humiliate their own people’. 

‘The citizens of this country defended their territory, gave their lives, and considered this historically important’, said Zakharova on Wednesday. ‘How can you betray their memory in such a cynical way? […] Who gave the right to people, obviously temporary workers who rely on outside help, to insult their people like that?’

The head of the Russian Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, Grigory Karasin, similarly stated that Grigoryan’s claims that Russia had ‘returned’ Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan were ‘absolutely untrue.’

Baku also condemned the statement, with President’s Assistant Hikmat Hajiyev calling it ‘nothing but an attempt to cover up the defeat of the previous and current political-military leadership of Armenia, shift the blame onto others, and exonerate themselves’. 

‘Both the 44-day Patriotic War and the anti-terrorist operation are studied as unique military operations in the military academies of many countries around the world’, said Hajiyev, referring to the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War and Azerbaijan’s 2023 attack on and taking control of Nagorno-Karabakh. 

‘It is regrettable to note that such statements reflect the persistence of revanchist fantasies in the mindset of the political-military leadership of Armenia’,  he added. ‘We advise the individuals in the political-military leadership of Armenia to completely abandon revanchist and revisionist dreams and end their policy of militarisation to avoid repeating historical mistakes.’

In recent weeks, Azerbaijani state media has increasingly frequently made claims that Armenia is preparing for or encouraging further conflict. 

Following a recent agreement with France to provide Armenia with CAESAR artillery systems, criticised both by Azerbaijan and Russia, Azerbaijani state-owned media APA claimed that ‘the third Karabakh war is inevitable’.

‘​​Azerbaijan will never allow Armenia to change the military balance and will resolutely respond to all provocations’, the article asserted. ‘Official Yerevan should not forget this fact, as well as the fact that the next military conflict may question Armenia's existence as a state.’

Read in Russian on SOVA.News.
Read in Georgian on On.ge.
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