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Russian peacekeepers leave Karabakh after Yerevan recognizes Baku’s state borders — Peskov

"Geopolitical realties in the region have changed and there are no more operational functions left for the peacekeepers," the Kremlin spokesman said

MOSCOW, April 22. /TASS/. Russian peacekeepers withdrew from their deployment area in the Nagorno-Karabakh area because there were no more operational functions left for them in the region, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

"It [the peacekeepers’ withdrawal] is in full compliance with the present-day realities in the region after Armenia has recognized Azerbaijan’s state borders as of 1991," Peskov said in an interview with Russia’s Channel One television broadcaster.

"Geopolitical realties in the region have changed and there are no more operational functions left for them [peacekeepers]," Peskov added.

"The main talks at the moment are certainly about the new life," he continued. "There is a territory that belongs to Azerbaijan and there are talks in progress between the two countries on the delimitation of the border, and a part of these talks have been already agreed upon."

Peacekeepers’ withdrawal

Azerbaijani Presidential Aide Hikmet Hajiyev said on April 17 that an early withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Azerbaijan had begun based on a decision made jointly by the top leadership of the two countries. The defense ministries of Azerbaijan and Russia are taking the necessary measures to implement the decision, he noted.

A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh based on the statement that the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia had signed on November 9, 2020.

The mission comprised 1,960 troops armed with light weapons, as well as 90 armored personnel carriers and 380 motor and special vehicles. The Russian peacekeeping mission was based on a five-year mandate, which could be automatically extended for another five years, provided none of the parties announced plans to terminate the provision six months before the mandate’s expiration.

Nagorno-Karabakh tensions

Tensions reignited in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 19, 2023. Baku announced it was starting "local anti-terrorist measures" and demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the region.

Yerevan said there were no Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and described the situation as "an act of large-scale aggression." Russia called on the sides of the conflict to halt the bloodshed and return to diplomacy. On September 20, an agreement was reached to halt hostilities.