Russia criticizes Nancy Pelosi’s comments on Armenia-Azerbaijan tensions

Russia believes that Pelosi’s “loud” statements about the conflict on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border do not help stabilize the situation.

“Any action with a quiet, practical approach that can contribute to the efforts to normalize relations and stabilize the border situation is welcome. Will such loud actions and statements be welcomed? Will help normalize the situation? Let’s wait and see,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on September 19.

Peskov made his comments after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on September 17 arrived in Armenia, beginning a three-day visit. Armenia and Azerbaijan clashed on the border, killing 215 people on September 13. The two countries accuse each other of initiating the conflict.

Pelosi described the visit as a “strong symbol of America’s unwavering commitment to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Armenia, and a secure and stable Caucasus”. She is the highest-ranking American official to visit Armenia since the country broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on September 18.  Photo: Reuters.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on September 18. Image: Reuters.

On September 18, Ms. Pelosi condemned the so-called “illegal” attack by Azerbaijan on Armenian territory. Armenian parliament speaker Alen Simonyan thanked the US “for making an assessment of Azerbaijan’s war actions”.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on September 19 that Pelosi made statements that were “biased”, “undermining diplomatic efforts” and unacceptable. Oktay called on the US to clarify whether Ms. Pelosi’s statement reflected Washington’s official position.

The US is strengthening ties with Armenia, which is a longtime ally of Russia. Russia has close ties with both Armenia and Azerbaijan, obligated to intervene if Armenia is attacked, under a security treaty.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars in the 1990s and 2020 over the breakaway territories of Nagorno-Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh has been separated from Azerbaijan since pro-Armenian separatists took control of the region after the war in the early 1990s.

The six-week war in the fall of 2020 between the two sides left more than 6,500 people dead, helping Azerbaijan regain part of its territory from the separatists. The conflict ended with a truce with Russia as a mediator. Under the deal, Russia deployed peacekeepers to defend the rest of the rebel-held territory in Nagorno-Karabakh.

During the EU-brokered negotiations in Belgium in April and May, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan agreed to “promote discussions” towards a peace treaty. Future.

The recent conflict has obliterated almost all Western efforts to bring Yerevan and Baku closer to a peace treaty, analysts say.

Location of Nagorno-Karabakh region.  Graphics: France 24.

Location of Nagorno-Karabakh region. Graphics: France 24.

Like Tam (Theo Reuters, AFP)

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