NOVO-OGARYOVO, November 17. /TASS/. Nagorno-Karabakh status will be agreed later but so far a status quo should be maintained, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
"Yes, such a problem does exist. Karabakh’s final status has not yet been settled. We agreed that the status quo will be maintained and what happens next will be determined by future leaders, future participants in this process," he said in an interview with the Russian mass media.
He said that it would be possible to agree Nagorno-Karabakh’s status after conditions were created for normal life, for resuming relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and relations between people, especially in the conflict zone.
"As for recognition or non-recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent sovereign state, the situation van be seen from different angles but, no doubt, it was a major factor, including during the bloody conflict that, I hope, has just been stopped. So, the very fact of non-recognition of Karabakh, including by Armenia, seriously impacted the developments and their interpretation," Putin noted.
"It should be said straight: following the criminal action of the former Georgian leadership, I mean the strikes on our peacekeepers in South Ossetia, Russia recognized South Ossetia’s and Abkhazia’s independence. We recognized as fair the expression of will by the Crimean residents, their striving to reunify with Russia. We reached out to the people and did it openly," the Russian president recalled. "Some may like it or not but we did it in the interests of the people leaving there, in the interests of Russia and we can say it openly."
However, in his words, "it was not done in respect of Nagorno-Karabakh and, naturally, it has been influencing all the developments there.".