Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s office reported on Wednesday night that he “refrained” from an opening paragraph in the declaration that deplores the “dire human rights and humanitarian consequences of the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine” and demands that Moscow “immediately, completely, and unconditionally” withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory.
According to the U.S. State Department, India and Mexico also refused to back that paragraph.
Pashinian’s office said it “does not reflect all conflicts and crises in a comprehensive and inclusive manner and fails to address the fact of Azerbaijan's … occupation of some parts of the sovereign territory of Armenia.”
Addressing the summit earlier on Wednesday, Pashinian thanked the U.S. and other Western powers for their “clear condemnation of the aggression against Armenia.” He said it helped to stop Azerbaijan’s offensive military operations launched last September.
Yerevan is understood to have endorsed the rest of the extensive summit declaration which describes democracy as “humanity’s most enduring means to advance peace, prosperity, equality, sustainable development, and security.”
The Armenian government has never publicly condemned the Russian military campaign in Ukraine, let alone joined the Western sanctions against Russia. It is sticking to that line despite growing tensions with Moscow.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov scoffed at the virtual summit organized by U.S. President Joe Biden, saying that it "can hardly be classified as some kind of serious event."
Konstantin Kosachev, a deputy speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, on Thursday expressed “regret” at Armenia’s participation in the summit. At the same time, Kosachev praised Russia’s main South Caucasus ally for dissociating itself from the anti-Russian passage in the summit declaration.