YEREVAN, January 3. /TASS/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk held talks in Yerevan on Sunday to focus on Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian cabinet’s press service said.
"Pashinyan highlighted Russia’s large role in the cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh and the introduction of a ceasefire regime, pointing out that the presence of Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh is a milestone factor and a guarantee of security. Pashinyan highly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal efforts and Russia’s constructive role in stabilization in Nagorno-Karabakh," the statement says.
The Russian deputy prime minister wished the Armenian prime minister a Happy New Year and Merry Christmas, and conveyed greetings from Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
"He (Overchuk - TASS) has pointed out that Russia confirms its support of the friendly people of Armenia in these difficult times and is interested in continuing the programs aimed at the development of the Armenian-Russian strategic cooperation," the statement says.
The press service added that Pashinyan and Overchuk touched on current developments in Nagorno-Karabakh and the exchange of war dead and detainees, as well as on a wide range of bilateral issues.
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. Under the agreement, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides maintained the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the region. Apart from that, Azerbaijan retook control of the Agdam and Kelbajar districts, and the Lachin region. Under the deal, Azerbaijan returned control of some areas in the Martuni, Martakert and Askeran districts, the city of Shusha and the Hadrut district, which were part of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region in the Soviet Union.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them.