MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. The deployment of Russian peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh will ensure durable peace in the region, Head of the Russian Federation Council (upper house) Defense and Security Committee Viktor Bondarev said in an interview with TASS.
"The presence of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh will ensure peace in the region in the long run. It is not the first time that Russia plays a pivotal role in resolving conflicts between our nearest neighbors. We deeply respect both warring parties and wish them good luck and prosperity, which are impossible during the war," he said.
According to the senator, the trilateral agreement reached by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan "ended the fratricidal war in Nagorno-Karabakh and made it possible to prevent more bloodshed." "Azerbaijan agreed to a complete ceasefire and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers to the line of contact between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops. Armenia, for its part, made major concessions along the ‘security belt’ in order to save the lives of residents of Nagorno-Karabakh and maintain control over most of the territory," Bondarev stressed.
"Everyone benefits from the end of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. We hope that it will be a turning point in the course of the long-term standoff and that it will pave the way for lasting peace in the region. I am confident that Russian peacekeepers will fulfill their tasks with honor and dignity," the senator added.
On November 9, 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. The Russian leader said the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides would maintain the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region.
Baku and Yerevan have disputed sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when the region declared secession from the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic. In the armed conflict of 1992-1994, Azerbaijan lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjoining districts.