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Armenia says concerned by Russian peacekeepers’ role



On Tuesday (10 January), Armenia’s prime minister expressed concern over the inability to reach a lasting peace agreement with Russia around the Nagorno Karabakh dispute. Azerbaijan said that it was too late to reach a lasting peace deal.

Yerevan requests the Russian peacekeepers to end the month-long Azeri blockade of the only road linking Armenia and Nagorno Karbakh. This is an Armenian-dominated enclave, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that while we don’t condemn Russian peacekeepers, “we do express concern over the activities of their activities and these concerns have long-standing roots.” He spoke to TASS, the Russian state news agency.

Moscow and Yerevan have signed a mutual defense agreement. Russia is determined to have good relations with Armenia’s arch-enemy Azerbaijan.

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The blockade is being led by a group of Azeris who identify as environmental activists.

Armenia claims the group is made up of agitators who have been backed by the Baku government, and are bent on creating tensions. Azerbaijan claims that they are eco-activists, who protest Armenian mining activities and allow humanitarian vehicles to travel along the road.

Officials from Armenian and Nagorno Karbakh warned that there would be a humanitarian crisis in the region.


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Hetq reports that Pashinyan stated that Moscow should permit an international peacekeeping force in the event of the road being closed again in December.

Pashinyan said Tuesday that Armenia would not host drills with the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (a Russian -led alliance post-Soviet countries) on its territory in 2023.

Dmitry Peskov (a Kremlin spokesperson) said that Armenia was “our most close ally” and would continue to dialog when asked about the decision.

Russia’s foreign ministry said last month that its peacekeepers along the Nagorno–Karabakh contact lines and along the Lachin corridor were doing everything they could to stabilize things.

BORDER THREATS

Azerbaijani and Armenian have fought many times over Nagorno Karabakh. After a 1990 war, Baku took control of the region.

In 2020, Azerbaijan retook territory around Nagorno Karbakh. This was the end of a second conflict.

Yerevan called it an unprovoked attack. Azerbaijan claimed its soldiers responded to Armenian sabotage units seeking to mine its positions.

Ilham Aliyev, President of Azeri Republic, stated in a Tuesday televised address that Armenia will lose if it fails to reach a peaceful solution this year.

“We can live like this for a long time… They (Armenia), don’t want (border-delineation), which means the border will pass where we deem necessary,” he said, referring to the expiration in 2025 of the Russian peacekeepers mandate.

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