Armenia reportedly joined a dozen other states on Wednesday in defending Russia in its intensifying dispute with the West over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England.
Britain has accused Russia of using a nerve agent to poison Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, who were hospitalized in critical condition after being found collapsed on a bench in the southern city of Salisbury on March 4. The United States, the European Union and NATO have added their voice to the accusations strongly denied by Moscow. More than 150 Russian diplomats have been expelled from Washington, London and other European capitals as a result.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague discussed the crisis on Wednesday at an emergency meeting called by Russia. Britain's delegation to the OPCW dismissed Moscow's proposal for a joint British-Russian investigation into the poisoning of the Skripals as "perverse."
The Russian Embassy to the Netherlands reported that Russia and 13 other nations, including Armenia, issued a joint statement at the meeting that backed Moscow’s demands addressed to the chemical weapons watchdog. According to it, the signatories also included Azerbaijan, four other former Soviet republics as well as Iran, Pakistan, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba and Nicaragua.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry did not immediately confirm the information. Yerevan has not yet issued any official statement on the Skripal case.
In a statement read out at the OPCW session, the European Union said it is "imperative" that Russia "responds to the British government's legitimate questions, begins to cooperate with the OPCW Secretariat, and provides full and complete disclosure to the OPCW."