Russia’s foreign ministry on Thursday slammed as “unacceptable” a comment by French President Emmanuel Macron that Moscow was “destabilising” the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“We consider Emmanuel Macron’s statements that Russia is allegedly using the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to destabilise the South Caucasus outrageous, absolutely unacceptable,” Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram.
Macron accused Russia of “destabilising” and “seeking to create disorder” in the Caucasus in comments to French television Wednesday.
The criticism came a week after he held talks with Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev — arch foes who rarely meet face-to-face.
Zakharova said France was trying to “drive a wedge into Russia’s relations with Azerbaijan and Armenia”.
Both Caucasus nations were part of the Soviet Union and Moscow has traditionally tried to mediate the conflict that erupted between the neighbours since the 1990s.
“Russia is united by long-term and multi-layered ties (to Armenia and Azerbaijan). These (attempts) are doomed for failure,” she added.
The former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars — in the 1990s and in 2020 — over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Russia deployed some 2,000 peacekeepers to oversee the fragile truce but tensions persist despite the ceasefire agreement.
In August, Armenia’s Pashinyan questioned their role in rare criticism of Moscow.