Yerevan /Mediamax/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the Russian side should not be blamed for "allegedly ‘giving up’ Karabakh back on November 10, 2020.”
Speaking at a news conference in New Delhi on September 10 following the G20 summit and answering a question about the Armenian-U.S. exercises, Lavrov said, in particular:
“The Kremlin has already commented on this situation. Of course, we see nothing good in the fact that an aggressive NATO country is trying to penetrate the South Caucasus. I do not think this is good for anyone, including Armenia itself.
We regret the actions of the Armenian leadership. The Armenian-U.S. exercises look all the more strange because Armenia has been refusing to participate in CSTO exercises for two years now. They explain that if the CSTO, as an allied structure with Armenia’s participation, condemned Azerbaijan, Armenia would “work” there. When we ask why they communicate with Americans and Europeans, who do not condemn Azerbaijan, they say that they are not allies. This is a rather strange, rustic logic. But I really hope that all the allied obligations that exist between us, which we value, will take effect and prevail in Armenia’s foreign policy. As to “threats” to leave the CSTO, there are a number of politicians in Armenia who allow themselves quite arrogant statements against Russia. We see this. This is not something that started yesterday. But we also remember that when Mr. Nikol Pashinyan was still a politician “not in power” and “was raising” the Armenian people, one of his slogans that time was the withdrawal from the CSTO and the EAEU. Many people attributed this to the election campaign and the struggle for votes. Subsequently, Mr. Pashinyan did not express any such thoughts, including during the CSTO summit in Yerevan in 2022, where at the ministerial level we agreed on the mandate of the CSTO mission on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan. Everything was endorsed. But in the morning, our Armenian colleagues decided to “postpone” this topic.
Before accusing us of anything, it is necessary to first evaluate own actions. A certain figure, I guess the head of parliament, allowed himself to say that Russia “gave up” Karabakh to Azerbaijan. It is hard to imagine a more incorrect and dishonest statement. He referred to the fact that Russia “gave” Karabakh to Azerbaijan when the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan signed the first trilateral statement on November 10, 2020. This is absolutely untrue. It says nothing about the status of Karabakh. At the time, all three leaders assumed that there would be further negotiations on this issue. But later in Prague, where the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia were invited, they both signed a statement saying that they recognize the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration. The issue is closed. The President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia signed a document according to which the then Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast is part of Azerbaijan. There is no need to accuse us of “giving up” Karabakh back on November 10, 2020. They should answer for this to their own people on their own.”