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Armenia PM Criticizes Russia as Rift With Moscow Grows Wider

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. primeminister.am

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Friday that Russia had failed to deliver weapons Yerevan had already paid for and accused Russia's media of destabilizing his country's political situation.

The remarks highlighted Armenia's growing rift with its powerful ally after Russian peacekeepers failed to prevent Azerbaijan's offensive to retake its Armenian-controlled separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"There is a problem related to the delivery of (Russian) weaponry and equipment for which we have already paid," Pashinyan said in televised remarks.

"Discussions are currently underway on the mechanisms to resolve this problem."

"We know that the Russian Federation itself needs weapons," he said, in an apparent reference to Russia's war on Ukraine.

He also said there were "certain problems" with respecting a bilateral agreement "stipulating that no efforts should be made to interfere in internal affairs or destabilize the domestic political situation in the country" by the two countries' broadcast media.

Pashinyan said Yerevan had invited Moscow to hold consultations "so that we can resolve this issue in a friendly and normal atmosphere."

Armenia is part of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) which obliges Russia to defend Armenia in the event of a foreign invasion.

Pashinyan has accused the CSTO of failing to fulfill that obligation, including when Armenia said its neighbor and arch-foe Azerbaijan had seized small pockets of its territory over the past three years.

On Thursday, Armenia refused to participate in a CSTO summit in Belarus, the latest expression of Yerevan's growing discontent.

In a lightning military operation in September, Azerbaijan reclaimed its breakaway region of Karabakh from Armenian separatist forces which had controlled the mountainous territory for three decades.

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