MOSCOW — Russia has accused the European Union of trying to squeeze it out of the South Caucasus, reacting to the deployment of some 100 EU monitors to Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan.
The Russian Foreign Ministry insisted that the monitoring mission, officially launched on Monday, will not reduce the risk of fresh fighting on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
“Unfortunately, it is not the first time we have recorded the desire of the European Union and the West as a whole to gain a foothold in our ally Armenia by any means,” the ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said in written comments.
“We see in these attempts a solely geopolitical background which is far from the interests of a real normalization of relations in the Transcaucasus. Everything is being done to squeeze Russia out of the region and weaken its historical role as the main guarantor of security,” she charged.
“Emphasizing the exclusively civilian nature of the new mission, the representatives of the European Union are not honest. It is in the sidelines of the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy, so it needs to be treated accordingly. Alas, it is not the first time that we record the desire of the EU and the entire West to strengthen its positions in our ally Armenia by all means”. Zakharova stated
Zakharova reiterated the official Russian line that Armenian-Azerbaijani agreements brokered by Moscow during and after the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh will remain “the key factor of stability and security in the region in the foreseeable future.”
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Galuzin, claimed that the decision of Brussels to launch an EU civilian mission in Armenia has a clear geopolitical context, which does not contribute to real stabilization in Transcaucasia. The Russian diplomat announced this during a telephone conversation with Toivo Klaar, the EU’s special representative in the South Caucasus.