‘Azerbaijan Republic after discrediting Russian peacekeepers’

Yerevan has accused Baku of seeking to discredit the activities of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has highly assessed the activities of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“We highly assess the activities of Russian peacekeepers. Their role in ensuring security in Nagorno-Karabakh is exceptional. And it should be noted,” he said in an interview with Armenia’s Public Television on Sunday.

According to the Armenian prime minister, the deployment of Russian peacekeepers to the region is one of the most important and fully implemented provisions of the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020.

“The first provision is the cessation of fire and hostilities. I highly value Russia’s role and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s contribution to the cessation of war. One of the most important and fully implemented provisions of the November 9 statement was the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin corridor,” he added.

At the same time, he accused Baku of seeking to discredit the activities of Russian peacekeepers.

“Ceasefire violations, the death of servicemen in Artsakh (non-recognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh) after November 9, 2020 demonstrate that Azerbaijan is pursuing a policy of discrediting the activities of Russian peacekeepers,” he stated.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs – Russia, France and the United States.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On November 9, 2020, Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. Under the document, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides stopped at the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor that connects Armenia with the enclave to exercise control of the ceasefire observance. Apart from that, a number of districts came over to Baku’s control.

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh stabilized after the deployment of Russian peacekeepers and tens of thousands of Karabakh residents have returned to their homes.

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