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Baku, Moscow ponder solution to issue of peacekeepers in Garabagh

30 December 2023 12:59 (UTC+04:00)
Baku, Moscow ponder solution to issue of peacekeepers in Garabagh
Asim Aliyev
Asim Aliyev
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Moscow and Baku are considering all issues related to the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan after the situation changed as a result of anti-terrorist measures in September, Azernews reports.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin, a Russian peacekeeping contingent was stationed in the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan in accordance with the trilateral statement signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia in November 2020.

Galuzin emphasised that despite the changing situation in the region after Azerbaijan's anti-terrorist measures in September, the trilateral statement remains in force:

"No one has cancelled this document. It is planned that our peacekeepers will stay in the region for 5 years, i.e. until November 2025, with the possibility of further extension of this period."

Recall that, after the 2nd Garabagh War, ongoing diplomatic negotiations and negotiations to resolve the remaining problems in the region have not yielded positive results. As a result of the 2nd Garabagh War, Azerbaijan liberated 10,000 square kilometers of the 13,000 square kilometers of territory that had been under occupation for 30 years, and the remaining 3,000 square kilometers are occupied by Russian peacekeeping troops until 2025.

Azerbaijan stated that it does not enter this area where Armenian civilians live in order not to harm civilians and to show humanity, and President Ilham Aliyev stated that from now on this issue will be resolved peacefully. According to the trilateral declaration signed on November 10, 2020, Russian peacekeeping troops stationed in the region were supposed to ensure the security of civilians and the region, and with the arrival of Russian peacekeeping troops, Armenian armed formations stationed here were supposed to leave the region.

However, despite the fact that 3 years had already passed since the adoption of the trilateral statement, the Armenian armed forces continued to remain in the region. In fact, the Armenian side sought to use these armed forces as a tool in diplomatic negotiations by keeping them here.

Armenian armed formations threatened construction works in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, penetrated into the liberated areas, and planted mines, which resulted in the loss of life. According to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, there were about 10,000 members of illegal Armenian armed formations in the region, with more than 100 tanks, armoured vehicles, and missile systems in their arsenal.

For a long time, despite Azerbaijan's reasonable demands, these forces were not withdrawn from the region. On September 18, Armenian separatists infiltrated the liberated territories and planted a mine on an asphalt road. As a result of the mine explosion, seven Azerbaijani policemen and a civilian working at a construction site were killed. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Intelligence characterised the incident as terrorism. Meanwhile, at the time, 61 Azerbaijanis were killed and 253 Azerbaijanis were injured as a result of mines laid over the past 3 years. The last incident led Azerbaijan to launch an anti-terrorist operation.

It should be noted that Azerbaijan started local anti-terror measures on September 19, 2023 in order to prevent all Armenian provocations in Garabagh. As a result of the armed actions, the terrorists were completely disarmed and cleared from the area without harming any civilians. Since that date, separatism and Armenian terrorism have been completely prevented in Azerbaijan.

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