MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. Russia does not seek an exclusive right to communicate with Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement marking a year’s anniversary of the trilateral statement signed by the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan on November 9, 2020.
"Russia is not claiming a monopoly in communication with Armenia and Azerbaijan although we have bonds of a longstanding and close friendship and a large-scale partnership on all azimuths with those countries and peoples," the statement says. "We stand for effective use of the international community’s current potential with adequate account of the changed regional realities."
The Foreign Ministry pointed out that a year has gone since the trilateral statement was adopted, so the information on social networks and in online resources that "Russia's peacekeeping efforts were allegedly aimed at ‘breaking Nagorno-Karabakh away,’ ‘handing it over’ to Azerbaijan, and turning Armenia into a ‘protectorate’ can be safely refuted.
"These statements are populist, they show an obvious external order and have nothing to do with reality," the Foreign Ministry noted.
The ministry emphasized that the Moscow-initiated trilateral agreements and mechanisms were not imposed on the sides, but were based on a verified balance of interests and included a very respectful attitude to the sovereignty and interests of Baku and Yerevan.
"Some of our initiatives could not be agreed upon, and that is normal. On the other hand, the agreement that has already been confirmed is, as they say, hard-won and is effectively implemented in practice," the Foreign Ministry stressed.
The highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh has been disputed by Baku and Yerevan since February 1988 when the region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
On November 9, 2020, 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. According to the statement, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides would maintain the positions that they had held and then the Armenian forces would turn over control of certain districts to Azerbaijan. In addition, Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the contact line and to the Lachin corridor, which links Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.