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Russia Accuses France of Risking War in South Caucasus After Armenian Arms Deal

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and French President Emmanuel Macron. primeminister.am

Russia has accused France of stoking conflict in the South Caucasus after the country this week signed a deal to sell artillery systems to Armenia.

“Paris is provoking another round of armed confrontation in the South Caucasus, and they are doing it in different ways. This [sale] is another step,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told journalists on Wednesday.

Her comments echoed a statement from Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry, which accused France of “pursuing a policy of militarization and geopolitical intrigue” in the region, and of “preventing the normalization of relations” between Yerevan and Baku.

“[This] policy of revanchism by the Armenian leadership is a manifestation of political irresponsibility, opening the way to a new war,” Azerbaijan’s statement read.

Armenia’s purchase of the French-made CAESAR self-propelled howitzers on Tuesday signals its growing interest in strengthening security ties with the West amid growing tensions with its traditional ally Moscow. 

Yerevan’s relations with Russia have deteriorated since Russian peacekeepers failed to intervene during Azerbaijan’s offensive in the disputed region of Nagorno Karabakh in 2023. 

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