They claimed that a joint declaration on “allied cooperation” signed by the Russian and Azerbaijani presidents on Tuesday was made possible by Pashinian’s mishandling of Armenia’s relationship with Russia.
The 7-page declaration says that Baku and Moscow will deepen bilateral ties “on the basis of allied interaction, mutual respect for independence, state sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of the two countries.” The two sides, it says, will avoid “any actions directed against each other” and could also consider “providing each other with military assistance.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized the “strategic” character of the document after four-talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev held in the Kremlin.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry suggested on Wednesday that the development should not have an adverse impact on Armenia’s close ties with Russia. They do not depend on relations with third countries “unless the parties develop them to the detriment of the Russian-Armenian alliance,” it said in what appeared to be a veiled warning to Moscow.
“Yerevan and Moscow … have been consistently taking steps to expand their relations in both bilateral and multilateral formats for the benefit of the development of our countries in the conditions of guaranteed security,” the ministry spokesman, Vahan Hunanian, added in written comments.
Hunanian also said Yerevan hopes that the Russian-Azerbaijani declaration will facilitate the implementation of Armenian-Azerbaijani agreements brokered by Moscow since the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The opposition Hayastan and Pativ Unem alliances insisted, meanwhile, that the declaration is a serious blow to Armenia.
“This document highlights the completely failed foreign policy of the current Armenian authorities,” said Artur Khachatrian, a senior lawmaker from Hayastan. “We have lost old friends but have not gained new ones.”
“They have thoroughly botched our relations with Russia … and this document also shows that something is not right in [Russian-Armenian] relations,” he told journalists.
Pativ Unem’s Hayk Mamijanian claimed that Moscow “needed another ally in the South Caucasus” because it does not view Pashinian’s government as a predictable and trustworthy partner.
Pativ Unem consists of two opposition parties, including former President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). The HHK’s governing body was the first to react to the Russian-Azerbaijani document with a statement issued late on Tuesday.
“When your sole ally becomes allied to your adversary that is first and foremost a consequence of your own weakness, blunders, and geopolitical failure and bankruptcy,” the statement said, adding that Pashinian’s foreign policy has not been “compatible” with Russian interests in the South Caucasus.
Pashinian’s political allies dismissed the opposition criticism. Hakob Arshakian, a deputy parliament speaker and senior member of the ruling’s Civil Contract party, said Russia’s military alliance with Armenia never prevented the two nations from forging close ties with other states.