While visiting Armenia over the weekend, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sparked debate over the country's past alliances with Russia, which has been provided security assistance to the former Soviet Union nation.
Now, Armenia is getting bombarded by Azerbaijan, whose country is backed by Turkey's military power. With calls for help to Vladimir Putin falling on deaf ears and the U.S. Congress shelling out billions to assist Ukraine against Russia's invasion, Pelosi's visit to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, comes at a auspicious time.
"All my life we have been a Russian colony; it's time for us to try something else," a Yerevan demonstrator named Anna said, according to Politico.
A Russian journalist was accosted by another Armenian demonstrator, Politico reported.
"Why are you here?" she asked. "Why don't you go back to Russia and report on what is going on there? You are occupiers!"
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Monday that Pelosi's "biased" statements regarding the clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan "sabotage diplomacy efforts" and were unacceptable.
Pelosi visited Armenia this weekend, in an unprecedented show of U.S. support for the country, which has for over three decades been locked in conflict with its neighbor Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Oktay also called on Washington to clarify whether Pelosi's statements reflect the official U.S. position.
The Kremlin also denounced Pelosi's "loud announcements" on the causes of the border conflict.
In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a "quiet and businesslike approach" to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict would bear fruit.
"Anything done in a quiet and businesslike approach can contribute to the normalization of relations, the stabilization of the situation on the border, all this can be welcomed. Can such high-profile actions and statements really contribute to the normalization of the situation? Let's see."
Pelosi praised Armenia's democracy and criticized what she called Azerbaijan's "illegal" attacks, after clashes broke out along the two countries' border last week, claiming over two hundred lives.
Putin has been mired in a war with Ukraine and Armenia is weighing its ties to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), because it has not come to its defense amid recent bombardments, according to Politico.
Yerevan billboards once featuring Putin are gone and crowds were chanting Pelosi's name and demonstrators held up signs reading "CSTO go screw yourself," according to the report.
Pelosi has compared Armenia to Taiwan and Ukraine as also facing tyranny and oppression, saying, "We are amid a battle between democracy and autocracy."
"We strongly condemn these attacks," Pelosi said in a speech to Armenian officials. "The fighting was initiated by the Azeris and there has to be recognition of that."
Armenia is also closely tied to Iran, making a clean break for ties with the U.S. a bit complex, according to the report.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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