Pashinyan accused Lukashenko of preparing war against Armenia and appeared to visit Belarus

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said he will not travel to Belarus as long as its president is Aleksandr Lukashenko because the latter supported Azerbaijan in the war over Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020.

“A member of the CSTO claims that he participated in the preparation of the 44-day war, encouraged it and wished victory for Azerbaijan. And after that I will go to discuss with the president of Belarus some issues in the CSTO format? Aren’t you talking about dignity, principledness?” – Pashinyan said in parliament.

The Prime Minister added that not only he, but also other Armenian officials will no longer go to Lukashenko. Pashinyan also demanded from the Belarusian president “apologies and explanations that would be acceptable to the Armenian people”. After this speech, Yerevan recalled its ambassador Razmik Khumaryan from Minsk for consultations.

Lukashenko made a visit to Azerbaijan on May 15-17, during which he visited Daghlig Garabagh. At that time, he also made it clear that he was aware of the plans of the republic’s President Ilham Aliyev to invade the region in 2020. “I was also thinking, I remembered our conversation before the war, before your war of liberation, when we were philosophizing over lunch, the two of us. We concluded then that it is possible to win a war. It’s important. It is very important to hold on to this victory”, Lukashenko said.He added that Minsk and Baku “equally understand the world and where it is going”, and offered Aliyev assistance in Karabakh’s post-war reconstruction.

Pashinyan then said the two CSTO member states had assisted Azerbaijan in preparing for hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020. “These countries created an imitation of helping us, but I want to say that that war was not about Nagorno-Karabakh, it was about Armenia not being anything”, he said.

The day before, Pashinyan said that Armenia is ready to withdraw from the CSTO. According to him, the republic will do so when it sees fit and will not go back.In February, Armenia froze the country’s membership in the de facto Russian-led organization and then refused to participate in its financing. Instead, Armenia decided to move toward rapprochement with the United States. The day before, the countries announced the elevation of relations to the level of strategic partnership, which implies the expansion of cooperation in the military sphere.

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