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Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan Signals Shift in Foreign Policy Orientation: Expert Analysis

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Armenian Prime Minister Signals Shift in Foreign Policy Orientation

Armenian political scientist Benjamin Matvosyan suggests that recent statements made by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan indicate a change in Armenia’s foreign policy direction. In an interview with Politico, Pashinyan expressed concerns about relying on Russia for security guarantees due to the conflict in Ukraine. He emphasized the need for Armenia to reduce its dependence on others amid rising tensions with Azerbaijan. Pashinyan also confirmed that Armenia recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, echoing similar criticisms of Russia in another interview. These statements reflect the true position of the Armenian authorities regarding the Russian presence in the South Caucasus.

Background on Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

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The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a long-standing dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, reignited in September 2020. Hostilities persisted until a complete ceasefire agreement was reached on November 10, mediated by Moscow. The agreement included provisions for the exchange of prisoners and the withdrawal of forces from occupied territories. Russian peacekeepers were deployed in the region, including the Lachin Corridor.

Efforts Towards a Peace Treaty

Last year, Armenia and Azerbaijan, with the mediation of Russia, the United States, and the European Union, began discussing a potential peace treaty. Prime Minister Pashinyan stated in May that Armenia is prepared to recognize Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Karabakh within the Soviet borders. Russian President Putin acknowledged this recognition in September. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev indicated that a peace treaty could be signed before the year’s end if Armenia maintains its position.

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