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Turkish participation in Nagorno-Karabakh peacekeeping mission wasn’t discussed — Kremlin

The involvement of Ankara is impossible without approval from Yerevan and Baku, the spokesman stressed
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. Participation of Turkish peacekeepers in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement is impossible without approval from Yerevan and Baku, but this issue was not discussed, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Thursday.

"We are still coming from understanding that Russian servicemen will be peacekeepers who are already deployed to the line of contact zone between the parties," Peskov explained. "Meanwhile, cooperation with the Turkish military will be conducted in the framework of the monitoring center which will be located in Azerbaijan."

When asked if Russia is ready to agree to deployment of Turkish peacekeepers in the region, he said that "this topic was not discussed."

"This cannot be a topic for discussion only between Moscow and Ankara. Armenia and Azerbaijan <…> should agree to it," Peskov noted, adding that "there were no such agreements."

When commenting on Ankara’s statements that Turkish peacekeepers will be part of the mission to Nagorno-Karabakh, the spokesman underlined, "we can suppose that there are some differences in understanding."

Varying stances

Moscow and Ankara have varying stances on the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday. He also hoped that those issues could be ironed out through dialogue.

"We [Russia and Turkey] have had different points of view regarding the settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh right from the very beginning," he said. He recalled that "Russia, the UN, the United States, France and other European countries are staunch supporters of the approach that there is no alternative to resolving the conflict other than through political and diplomatic means." "We continue to maintain that view," the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that "Turkey adheres to a different viewpoint."

"Nevertheless, cooperation between Russia and Turkey has shown its effectiveness in resolving various regional issues," Peskov noted. "We value this interaction, we value the level of mutual trust and cooperation."

He stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin "likewise appreciates the constructive approach of his Turkish counterpart, President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan. According to the Kremlin spokesman, they "maintain a close and substantive dialogue," but have "certain nuances in their approaches and differences." "We also seek to settle them in the course of the dialogue with our Turkish partners," he said.

The Kremlin spokesman refrained from responding to a question on whether the Russian administration was satisfied with Ankara’s actions concerning Nagorno-Karabakh. He just noted that "the Kremlin is satisfied with the fact that it was possible to sign a joint statement with President Putin, President Aliyev and Prime Minister Pashinyan."

Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27 with intense battles in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. The Russian leader said the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides would maintain the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region. Besides, Baku and Yerevan must exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed.

On November 10, the Azerbaijani leader’s press service reported that Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey Ilham Aliyev and Recep Tayyip Erdogan had discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh situation and creation of the "Turkish-Russian peacekeeping center" in the region.

On November 11, Russia and Turkey agreed to create the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire monitoring center. The memorandum was signed following videoconference talks between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.