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Armenian Security Chief: Russia Took Nagorno-Karabakh, Gave It to Azerbaijan, and Left

Armen Grigoryan, the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia

On Wednesday, Armen Grigoryan, the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia, made bold comments during the "Building the Future" forum. Grigoryan stated that Russia played a pivotal role in the recent developments concerning Nagorno-Karabakh. His remarks have sparked a heated debate, causing strong responses from Russian officials.

Grigoryan claimed that Russia intervened in Nagorno-Karabakh, took control of the region, handed it over to Azerbaijan, and then withdrew. He emphasized that these events occurred when Armenia was entirely reliant on Russia. According to Grigoryan, this dependency was a key factor that led to the 2020 war.


"Didn't we [Armenia] have a war when we were completely dependent on Russia? We did," said Grigoryan. He suggested that Armenia's reliance on Russia contributed to the conflict. Grigoryan expressed hope that recent shifts in Armenia's foreign policy would bring stability.


Russian Response:


Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, vehemently rejected Grigoryan's claims. She accused him of humiliating the Armenian people by blaming Russia for the loss of Nagorno-Karabakh. Zakharova emphasized the historical importance of the territory to Armenian citizens, who have fought and sacrificed their lives for it.

Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

"As representatives of the authorities, such figures degrade their own people. Armenian citizens defended their territory, gave their lives, and considered this to be of historical importance," Zakharova said. She condemned Grigoryan's remarks as a betrayal of the memory of those who fought for Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russian Peacekeepers in Artsakh, Nagorno-Karabagh

Zakharova also criticized what she described as "temporary rulers" who insult their own people and appear to be influenced by external forces. "It's astonishing to me how people can treat the historical memory of their long-suffering nation in such a humiliating way," she added.


Grigory Karasin, Chair of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, also disputed Grigoryan's statements. In an interview with RIA Novosti, Karasin stated that Russia did not "hand over" Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan. He urged Grigoryan to review the statements of Armenian politicians on this matter, implying that the truth was already documented in their notes and speeches.


"This is absolutely not true. It is necessary to reflect on the notes and speeches of Armenian political figures, including the top leadership. The answers to these questions are contained there. These notes are known; let him read [them]," said Karasin.


Context of the Conflict:

Artsakh September 19 2023, during Azerbaijan attack

The Republic of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh has deep historical roots of conflict, with both Armenia and Azerbaijan claiming the region despite it’s majority Armenian indigenous populations. The most recent war in 2020 resulted in significant territorial changes, with Azerbaijan occupying Nagorno-Karabakh. The role of external powers, particularly Russia, has been a point of contention and speculation.

Artsakh's citizens arriving to Kornidzor, Armenia

Grigoryan's comments suggest a narrative where Russia's actions directly influenced the outcome of the conflict. However, Russian officials maintain that their involvement was not as described by Grigoryan. The conflicting statements show the complexity of the geopolitical dynamics in the region.

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