Russia says France attempting to “drive a wedge” into its relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan

Attempts by Paris to drive a wedge into Moscow’s relations with Baku and Yerevan are doomed to failure and will lead to a depreciation of France’s authority in the region, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in response to earlier remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Ministry described Macron’s statement that Russia is allegedly using the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to destabilize the South Caucasus as “blatant and absolutely unacceptable.”

“Such attacks fit into the anti-Russian policy of the West aimed at demonizing Russia and testify to attempts to transfer the confrontational logic from Ukraine to other parts of the post-Soviet space, including the South Caucasus,” the Foreign Ministry said.

It further added that “the absurd fabrications of the French President speak of Paris’ disinterest in establishing lasting peace in the region and call into question his country’s ability to play a constructive role there.”

The Ministry noted that, unlike France, which even during periods of escalations between Baku and Yerevan limited itself to standard calls for peace, Russia contributed to the settlement of the conflict “in practice.”

“Our country made a decisive contribution to the signing of the tripartite statement of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia dated November 9, 2020, which put an end to the bloodshed. The peacekeeping contingent deployed in accordance with this agreement remains the guarantor of security in the region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry added.

“It is Russia that has launched work on a comprehensive normalization of relations between Yerevan and Baku. In particular, steps are being taken to unblock all economic and transport links in the South Caucasus, delimit the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, conclude a peace treaty, and establish dialogue between the public and experts” the Ministry concluded.

The statement comes after French President Emmanuel Macron accused Russia of purposefully provoking the recent clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan as part of an effort to 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,” the French president stated.

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