During an interview broadcast on French television, President Emmanuel Macron made rather harsh and serious attributions to Russia, accusing the latter of inciting the latest attack against Armenia in September.
“What happened at the border in the last two years? Five thousand Russian soldiers are supposed to be there to guarantee the border, but the Russians have used this conflict, which has a history of centuries, and played Azerbaijan’s game with Turkey to weaken Armenia,” said Macron.
Such a statement by the French president was quite a surprise, especially since Russia was mentioned by name. Naturally, he would not have spoken in such a manner and so openly if he did not have some data at his disposal, based on which he made this sensitive issue a subject of public discussion.
Macron’s accusations are not the only ones coming from the French capital in recent times. A few days ago, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, expressed a similar view, saying that the events that took place in the internationally recognized territory of Armenia, revealed Russia’s inability to act as an arbitrator, which it claimed by way of exclusivity after the 2020 war.
In this same speech, Macron also said that Armenia is a country with which France has a unique relationship. “We are on the side of that country and we will not let the Armenians alone,” he emphasized during the interview.
These statements from the French president have received negative reactions from Azerbaijan and Russia. In Baku, France was accused of bias, and President Putin responded to Macron saying that they are inappropriate and unacceptable. “I will talk to Macron about it,” he added.
It should be noted that as a result of the war in Ukraine, almost all leaders of Western countries have cut off their contact with President Putin. Macron, and to some extent German Prime Minister Olaf Schultz, are the only ones who continue to maintain some line of communication with him, trying to end the months-long Ukrainian war.
Macron’s statement was followed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s speech during the meeting of the CIS countries when he questioned the purpose and mere existence of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance which is led by Russia.
These developments will further strengthen the growing sentiment in Armenia, that from now on, Russia cannot be fully relied upon. Even among the most pro-Russian elements of the society, questions are being raised regarding the policies followed by Moscow towards Armenia.
The increase in the degree of involvement of France and the United States within the region can give some guarantees to Armenia, provided that it does not become a bone of contention between the great powers, forcing Yerevan to choose between one side or the other. At present, to defend itself, Armenia needs the help of all sides.