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Armenian defense minister praises role of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh

He extended condolences to the Russian diplomat over the death of crewmen of a Russian Mi-24 helicopter and handed over the decrees of President Armen Sarkissian to award medals "For Combat Service" to Major Yuri Ishchuk (posthumously), Senior Lieutenant Roman Fedin (posthumously) and Senior Lieutenant Vladislav Gryazin

YEREVAN, November 19./TASS/. Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan met on Thursday with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kopyrkin, giving high marks to the role of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Defense Ministry’s press service reports.

"David Tonoyan highly appreciated the role and efforts of the Russian Federation in the settlement of the military-political situation in the region, as well as progress and efficiency of the Russian peacekeeping missing in Artsakh (unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic)," it said.

"The sides emphasized the importance of the activity of the peacekeeping mission of the Russian Federation and the International Committee of the Red Cross in the exchange of the bodies of those killed and captives, as well as in finding missing persons," the report said.

Tonoyan extended condolences to the Russian diplomat over the death of crewmen of a Russian Mi-24 helicopter and handed over the decrees of President Armen Sarkissian to award medals "For Combat Service" to Major Yuri Ishchuk (posthumously), Senior Lieutenant Roman Fedin (posthumously) and Senior Lieutenant Vladislav Gryazin.

A Russian Mi-24 military helicopter was shot down over Armenia near the border with Azerbaijan on November 9. Two crewmembers died and the third pilot was wounded. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry admitted that the helicopter had been shot down by the Azeri armed forces by mistake and stated Baku was ready to pay compensation to Moscow over the incident.

On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a full ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. As the Russian leader said, Azerbaijani and Armenian forces will maintain the positions that they have held, while Russian peacekeepers will be deployed to the region.