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Putin hopes the word conflict won’t be used for Nagorno-Karabakh anymore

The Russian leader gathered a meeting to discuss humanitarian issues in Nagorno-Karabakh by videoconference Friday

NOVO-OGARYOVO, November 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that the very word ‘conflict’ will no longer be used to describe the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Russian leader gathered a meeting to discuss humanitarian issues in Nagorno-Karabakh by videoconference Friday. "I hope that we will no longer say ‘the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’ and hope that we will soon move to discussing other issues, one of them being very current, of course," Putin said.

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 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.

"The Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, hereinafter referred to as the "Parties," shall stop in their current positions. The Agdam District shall be returned to the Republic of Azerbaijan by November 20, 2020," the statement reads. "The peacemaking forces of the Russian Federation, namely, 1,960 troops armed with firearms, 90 armoured vehicles and 380 motor vehicles and units of special equipment, shall be deployed along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin Corridor."

At the same time, "The peacemaking forces of the Russian Federation will be deployed for five years, a term to be automatically extended for subsequent five-year terms unless either Party notifies about its intention to terminate this clause six months before the expiration of the current term," the document notes.