Ukrainian interior minister calls for Armenian genocide recognition

Ukraine’s Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov said that his country should recognise the Armenian genocide in a Facebook post on Sunday.

"The Armenian genocide is not a tragedy of one nation. This is a terrible and, unfortunately, unlearned lesson for all humanity," Avakov said. 

To further his point, Avakov said that recognition would contribute towards preventing similar crimes from happening in the future. He praised the contribution of Armenians to Ukrainian history, pointing specifically to Serhiy Nigoyan, who was the first civilian killed during the 2014 Maidan protests. 

Avakov’s call is important at a time of increased cooperation between Turkey and Ukraine. The minister is considered one of the most powerful in Kyiv, but it is unlikely that his statement will dramatically alter bilateral ties. 

Avakov’s request came only a day after United States President Joe Biden on Saturday recognised the Armenian Genocide, a serious break from his predecessors. Turkey criticised the decision and promised to respond “in time’ to it.

Ukraine has a large population of Armenians living within it, but it also has a growing relationship with Turkey on defence and trade.