Russia Accuses France of Fueling South Caucasus War

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jun.20 - 2024 11:47 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
This follows France's agreement to sell artillery systems to Armenia earlier this week.

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Russia has accused France of escalating tensions in the South Caucasus following France's agreement to sell artillery systems to Armenia earlier this week.

“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 according to The Moscow Times.

Azerbaijan Echoes Russian Concerns

Zakharova's remarks align with 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 Shift Toward the West

Armenia’s purchase of the French-made CAESAR self-propelled howitzers on Tuesday underscores its increasing efforts to bolster security ties with Western nations amid growing tensions with its traditional ally, Moscow.

Relations between Yerevan and Moscow have deteriorated since Russian peacekeepers failed to intervene during Azerbaijan’s offensive in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in 2023.