France’s Macron accuses Russia of stoking Armenia, Azerbaijan conflict

France’s President Emmanuel Macron accused Russia on Wednesday of purposefully provoking the recent clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan as part of an effort destabilize the Caucasus region and beyond.

Speaking to France 2 television on Wednesday Macron said Moscow had stoked tensions in recent months in favor of Azerbaijan.

“What’s been happening on the border the last two years … 5,000 Russian soldiers are allegedly there to guarantee the border, (but) the Russians have used this conflict which dated back several centuries and played Azerbaijan’s game with Turkish complicity and came back to weaken Armenia which was once a country it was close to,” Macron said.

“You see what’s happening? It’s an effort by Russia to destabilize. It wants to create disorder in the Caucasus to destabilize all of us.”

Macron last week sat down with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and European Council President Charles Michel to flesh out an agreement that will see a civilian EU mission head to the countries’ border to assess the situation.

Earlier this week Russia called the EU mission an “intervention” in Moscow’s efforts to settle relations between Yerevan and Baku.

Russia sees the civilian mission of the European Union on the border of Azerbaijan and Armenia as an attempt by the European Union to push back Moscow’s efforts and intervene in the settlement of relations, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters at a briefing.

“Unfortunately, here we see another attempt by the European Union to intervene in any way in the settlement of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, to suppress the mediation efforts of our country,” she said.

“We proceed from the fact that the only key to the reconciliation of Baku and Yerevan, the establishment of lasting peace and long-term stability in the region is the full implementation of the tripartite statements of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia,” Zakharova adde

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