YEREVAN, August 4. /TASS/. The events in Nagorno-Karabakh evoke a number of questions regarding the activities of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at a government meeting on Thursday.
"A number of events that have taken place in Nagorno-Karabakh since 2020, including those in recent days, evoke questions from the Armenian public about the content and nature of the peacekeeping operation in Nagorno-Karabakh. In this context, there is an urgent need to agree the details of the peacekeeping operation there," he said.
Pashinyan stressed that he regarded the Russian peacekeepers’ presence and activity in Nagorno-Karabakh as a key factor for maintaining the Armenians’ security and appreciated Russia’s efforts to ensure security and stability in the region.
He stressed that Armenia expected the Russian peacekeeping contingent to quash any attempts at violating the line of disengagement in Nagorno-Karabakh.
"The third paragraph of the tripartite statement of November 9, 2020 clearly states that there is a line of disengagement in Nagorno-Karabakh along which Russian peacekeepers are stationed. This territory is defined as the zone of responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping contingent. We expect that any attempts at violating the disengagement line must be stopped by Russia’s peacekeepers, and that the Azerbaijani units that are inside this zone must be withdrawn," he said.
Russian peacekeepers’ mandate in Nagorno-Karabakh
Pashinyan recalled that "Azerbaijan refused to sign the mandate for the activities of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, while Armenia signed it in November 2020. "We expect that the mandate, signed in a bilateral format, will be fully implemented. If not, then it is necessary to take measures to enforce this mandate at the international level or give the peacekeepers a broader international mandate," he added.
Tensions over Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, 2020, when hostilities flared up there. On November 9 of the same year, a tripartite statement was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, which made it possible to achieve a cessation of hostilities in the conflict zone. The Azerbaijani and Armenian forces stopped at the positions they were holding at that moment, a number of regions were put under Baku’s control and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the disengagement line and in the Lachin corridor.