Our Analytics 3 october — 12:00

Sergey Lavrov publicly offended Pashinyan... and sided with Azerbaijan (Prompt comment, Video)



Speaking at the 16th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov raised the issue of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry made a statement that could greatly offend the Armenian prime minister.

In his speech, Sergey Lavrov reiterated the prevailing opinion regarding the scandalous statement of Pashinyan in Khankendi: the formula of the prime minister 'Karabakh is Armenia, and that's that' slowed down the negotiation process.

'The political process is inhibited and so far it has not been possible to get rid of this hindrance. The parties make statements that are quite serious, including the words that 'Karabakh is Armenia.' Just as from Tirana, the prime minister of Albania stated that 'Kosovo is Albania.' This, of course, does not help create an atmosphere for the resumption of the political process,' said Sergey Lavrov.

Lavrov never spoke like that

The Armenian media, which disseminated Lavrov's statement, 'forgot' to publish one of the main messages of the Russian minister. There is no such phrase in the Armenian news feed. Only a few sites opposed to official Yerevan wrote that the Russian FM criticised the position of official Yerevan, and this can be explained by the general confusion caused by this statement.

Earlier, one could cite a lot of evidence that the statements of the Russian Foreign Ministry and Sergey Lavrov personally regarding Karabakh were in favour of Yerevan. However, now the situation is changing and, apparently, provocative, contradictory and adventurous statements of the Armenian leadership on Karabakh are negatively perceived by Moscow. Plus, with his statement 'Karabakh is Armenia,' which actually negates the negotiation process, Pashinyan is trying the Kremlin's patience. Indeed, if Pashinyan has already determined for himself the status of Karabakh, then what kind of negotiation process and the role of Russia in this process can there be?

Another important point in the statement of Sergey Lavrov is that he compared the statement of Pashinyan with the position of the prime minister of Albania on Kosovo. So what did Sergey Lavrov want to say with his statement?

Pashinyan speaks out and disrupts the peace process

In order to find the answer to this question, it is necessary to turn to the problem of Kosovo and Russia's position on this issue. As is well known, Russia, unlike the United States and the Western countries, does not recognise the independence of Kosovo, considering it to be part of Serbia. Albania became the first state to recognise the independence of the separatist region of Kosovo populated by ethnic Albanians in the early 1990s. In 1992, the Albanian parliament decided to recognise the independence of Kosovo. In 1994, when the war in Bosnia began, the Albanian parliament withdrew this decision and declared recognition of the territorial integrity of the Yugoslav Federal Republic.

In 1998, when the war in Kosovo began, Albania seized the borders with this region. In 2008, when negotiations with Belgrade came to a standstill and Kosovo unilaterally declared independence, Albania again recognised the independence of the separatist region. And in 2015, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said that the unification of Albania and Kosovo is a matter of time. On the whole, statements that Kosovo is a part of Albania are made quite often. Such statements could not be accepted by Moscow, which clearly supports Serbia on the Kosovo issue.

Now we can say that Sergey Lavrov, comparing Pashinyan with the Albanian prime minister, brought to his attention that the approach 'Karabakh is Armenia' will not be accepted.

On the other hand, Kosovo's withdrawal from negotiations and the unilateral declaration of independence was a Western project and it is well known how harshly Russia reacted to Washington's attempt to cover up traces of NATO crimes in the Yugoslav space. And the position of pro-Western Albania regarding Kosovo is still unacceptable to Russia.

In Kosovo, NATO covered up its crimes

After coming to power, Pashinyan put forward the idea that the separatist regime of Karabakh should become a party to the negotiations, and for a long time he insisted on this. In both Armenian and Russian circles, assumptions were voiced that Pashinyan voiced this position on orders from across the ocean. The populist statement 'Karabakh is Armenia' was very harshly criticised by pro-Russian Armenian circles. Statements have been made that such calls bring Armenia to a rather dangerous line: the likelihood of active hostilities with Azerbaijan, which is a manifestation of some secret conspiracy between Pashinyan and the West regarding the fate of the Karabakh conflict.

And now Sergey Lavrov has compared Pashinyan's position on Karabakh with the position on Kosovo of the Albanian PM, a member of NATO, which is under the auspices of the United States. Interesting comparison. Isn't it?

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