Armenia did not recognize Crimea’s secession from Ukraine when it voted against a pro-Ukrainian resolution that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in March, a senior official insisted on Thursday.
The resolution denounced as illegal a disputed referendum that led to on the Black Sea region’s annexation by Russia. Armenia was one of 11 states that opposed it. They included Russia and “rogue states” like North Korea, Syria and Sudan.
“By voting against the resolution we did not recognize. That does not mean Crimea’s recognition,” Deputy Foreign Minister Karen Nazarian said in the Armenian parliament.
Nazarian, who was Armenia’s permanent representative to the United Nations during the March 27 vote, stuck to the official line that Yerevan simply voiced support for the principle of people’s self-determination championed by it in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “We didn’t vote against Ukraine or for Russia,” he said. “We voted for our principles.”
The United States has criticized the Armenian stance at the UN assembly. Some of Armenia’s main opposition forces have also deplored it, saying that Yerevan should have abstained or not voted at all.
The UN resolution came a week after President Serzh Sarkisian hailed the Crimean referendum in a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Sarkisian described the vote as “yet another example of the realization of peoples’ right to self-determination through a free expression of will.”
Ukraine’s interim government responded by recalling the Ukrainian ambassador to Armenia, Ivan Kukhta, to Kiev. Kukhta told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) last week that he expects to return to Yerevan “very soon.”