Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in Moscow today.
This development directly follows a European Council-mediated meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, given last month’s reemergence of conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Russia has traditionally supported Armenian territorial claims in the Nagorno-Karabakh region that have been historically disputed by Azerbaijan. Further, Moscow continues to station peacekeeping troops in Armenia after a Russian-mediated cease fire ended a six-week war in 2020. However, Armenia is growing wary of this support as Russia focuses its military power toward Ukraine.
As international sanctions deal significant long-term damage to the Russian economy, Armenia’s reliance on aid and investment from Moscow may be in jeopardy. As European leaders work to reduce Russian coal and gas imports, increased trade with Azerbaijan for its energy sources may boost the Azerbaijani economy. Azerbaijan’s recent capture of the strategic village of Farukh in the Nagorno-Karabakh region spurred a temporary cutoff of natural gas supplies to Armenia. Expect Armenia to push for renewed Russian backing as it fears a fresh conflict in Azerbaijan’s favor and another cutoff of supplies.
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Sabrine is an Analyst for Foreign Brief and a graduate student at Yonsei University in South Korea, specializing in foreign policy and security in East Asia. Previously, she contributed as a freelance writer for online publications and worked as a sub-editor for the Daily NK.