Moscow calls Armenia a “Ukraine 3” after Pashinyan’s speech at European Parliament

Oct 19 2023
By Ani Avetisyan October 19, 2023

The war of words between Armenia and Russia appears to be worsening  as Yerevan becomes more and more vocal about its disappointment with Russia and Moscow reacts fiercely. The latest incident took place after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s speech in the European Parliament, where he, once again, complained about Armenia’s “allies” that abandoned the country in its conflict with Azerbaijan. 

"When hundreds of thousands of Armenians were fleeing from Nagorno Karabakh to the Republic of Armenia, not only did our allies in the security sector refuse to help us, but they also made public calls for a change of power in Armenia to overthrow the democratic government", Pashinyan said, adding that the “conspiracy” against Armenia failed thanks to the unity in the country.

An anonymous high-ranking source told Russian state news agency TASS that  Pashinyan was following Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s footsteps by “quantum leaps”. 

"We consider Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's speech at the European Parliament on October 17 as absolutely irresponsible and provocative, especially as far as Russia and Russian-Armenian relations are concerned," the source told TASS, adding that “Armenia is trying to turn into Ukraine No. 3”, calling Moldova a “Ukraine No. 2”. 

Armenia has been voicing criticism about Russia and the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty organisation (CSTO) since 2021, when Azerbaijan captured lands inside Armenia, but it became more vocal following the 2022 September attack when Azerbaijan captured a number of military positions inside Armenia, leaving hundreds dead. Armenia’s requests to Russia and CSTO for military assistance remained unanswered, making Armenia reconsider its strategic allies. 

In a September 24 speech, Pashinyan stated that the “security systems”  meaning CSTO and the alliance with Russia  of which Armenia was part were not effective and that Armenia was seeking to diversify its security architecture. 

Armenia has recently been more eager for Western-led initiatives and peace negotiations with Azerbaijan. Refusing a number of events with the CSTO and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Armenia hosted a short-term military training with US troops days before Azerbaijan’s September 19 attack on Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia has been looking for new possible partners, among them, India and France. India and Armenia already have a number of contracts on arms supplies, while with France Armenia has just agreed to co-operate militarily, which includes delivery of weapons. Russia is still the main supplier of weapons, but with its war in Ukraine, the country struggled to send promised weapons to Armenia, nor has it returned the $400mn Armenia pre-paid for the weapons. 

Along with security issues, Yerevan faced a test of loyalty when initiating the ratification of the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court. Armenia decided to join the court despite Russia’s warnings and threats that the ratification could affect the two country’s relations. 

The West has also become one of the leading facilitators of talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan. While the talks are facing a standoff over the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders keep repeating that the peace agreement between the two countries is within reach. 

Pashinyan stated in Strasbourg that Armenia is ready to sign the peace treaty with Azerbaijan by the end of the year.