Armenia’s Prime Minister has said that he will accept Russian peacekeepers in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone if it helps end the war with Azerbaijan.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Nikol Pashinyan said that a neutral force of Russian troops was now the “optimal solution” to the conflict.
“I am in favor of deployment of Russian peacekeepers in the conflict zone. But the problem is that deployment of Russian peacekeepers in the conflict zone needs to be acceptable to all sides of the conflict,” Pashinyan said.
Christian Armenia is also appealing to the West to help end the conflict. Mr Pashinyan said Europe should do more to stop President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey – a Nato member – from backing Azerbaijan.
Mr Erdogan’s backing for Azerbaijan, he said, was part of a new “imperialistic policy” designed to restore Turkey’s Ottoman empire across Europe, the Middle East and the Caucuses.
“What is happening here is the continuation of the policy that Turkey is carrying out in the Mediterranean Sea against Greece and Cyprus and in Libya, in Syria in Iraq,” he said.
“The South Caucasus Armenians are the last obstacle on Turkey’s path of continued imperialistic policies towards the northeast and the southeast,” he said.
Portraying Mr Erdogan as a common enemy for both Armenia and Europe, he also brought up Mr Erdogan’s recent broadside against the French President, Emmanuel Macron, over the latter’s response to the beheading of a French schoolteacher for showing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
Mr Erdogan said that Mr Macron must be suffering from mental health difficulties after the French leader vowed to end Islamic “separatism” in France in the wake of the murder.
“Could you ever conceive of any country’s official representative possibly saying about the President of France in that tone?” Mr Pashinyan asked. “Who could conceive that 15 years ago?”
Describing Mr Erdogan’s comments as a declaration of war, Mr Pashinyan said the Turkish leader was effectively lending sanction to attacks such as the beheading. “We are seeing the center of energy from which all of this is being encouraged,” he added.