West engages in ‘diplomatic raid,’ undermines tripartite deals between Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia: Lavrov

West engages in ‘diplomatic raid,’ undermines tripartite deals between Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia: Lavrov

Moscow sees neither opportunity nor need to develop dialogue with West on South Caucasus, says Russian foreign minister

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday said the West is engaging in a "diplomatic raid" and undermines the key principles of the tripartite agreements between Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

“They (the West) are by and large engaged in what I would call a diplomatic raid. When they are trying to subdue the trilateral agreements between Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, they are trying to impose their curatorship on all this work, directly undermining the key principles of these documents," Lavrov said, during a news conference with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in the capital Moscow.

Lavrov said these documents involve "the active participation of the Russian Federation both in resolving issues of unblocking transport and economic ties, and in issues of delimiting the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan and assisting the parties in signing a peace treaty."

Lavrov also said Moscow sees neither the opportunity nor the need to develop a dialogue with the West on the South Caucasus.

"We see very well what goals the West is pursuing in the South Caucasus, in fact, it does not even hide them, it declares them: to tear Russia away (from the region)," Lavrov noted.

Lavrov further said Russia sees the “undisguised attempts” by the West to quarrel Moscow with Yerevan, adding that these attempts would fail.

"We talked about the alarming trends in the situation in the South Caucasus. We see undisguised attempts by the West to quarrel Russia and Armenia, let's call a spade a spade, undermine the regional security architecture," Lavrov said.

Lavrov also claimed that the West provides financial and material support to multiple non-governmental organizations in the South Caucasus for the preparation of “color revolutions.”

"This is also not much hidden. … All these non-governmental organizations are known. The way they act, publicly defending the interests of the West, trying to discredit the actions of the same Russia, the same Iran, is also known," Lavrov further said.


- Russia in favor of full implementation of trilateral agreement

Lavrov also said Russia is in favor of the full implementation of the trilateral agreement between Moscow, Baku, and Yerevan, noting that the topic of the Lachin corridor should be exclusively viewed in this context.

"Each party has its obligations there," Lavrov noted, expressing hope that all parties would understand the need to fulfill the agreements regarding the resolution of the problem around the Lachin corridor.

Lavrov further noted that a new date for a trilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of the three countries will be discussed in the near future.

"Our Armenian colleagues confirmed what Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said the other day at a press conference that Armenia is ready to hold such a meeting. … I think that, in the near future, we will see which dates are convenient for all three ministers,” Lavrov said.

For his part, Mirzoyan refused that a targeted anti-Russian campaign is taking place in Armenia, noting that many Russian citizens live in the country without complaints.

"As for the demonstrations, the constitution and the legislation of the Republic of Armenia guarantees freedom of assembly. I can just share information with you -- demonstrations against the Armenian authorities are very often held in Armenia as well," Mirzoyan said.

He also said Yerevan has never refused the deployment of a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) mission on the border areas between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but that there were difficulties in agreeing on the organization's area of responsibility.

Since Dec. 12, Azerbaijani ecologists representing nongovernmental organizations had been protesting Armenia's illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Karabakh region, where Russian peacekeepers have been stationed since the end of the fall 2020 conflict and a January 2021 pact with Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

In the fall of 2020, in 44 days of clashes, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation. The Russian-brokered peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.

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