The mandate of the Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh has not been agreed – an important recognition of Baku

The mandate of the Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh has not been agreed – an important recognition of Baku

Baku and Moscow have not yet agreed on the mandate of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh, Hikmet Hajiyev, Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan for International Affairs, said in an interview with the BBC Azerbaijani service.

“Additional agreements and legal mechanisms on the mandate of peacekeepers are still being discussed between the parties,” Hajiyev said.

The presence and actions of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh are pursued within the framework of the trilateral statement of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia on November 10, 2020.

“The entire territory of Karabakh is the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan which is recognized by the international community acknowledging  the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan while the peacekeepers are temporarily located in a part of the Karabakh region in accordance with the trilateral agreement of November 10,” Hajiyev said.

With this statement, official Baku confirmed for the first time that it has not signed the mandate on powers of the Russian peacekeepers. The repeated criticism of the actions of the peacekeepers over the past 10 months is manifested by the ongoing agreements on their rights and authorities which is indicative of Baku’s discord with the authorities Moscow wants to get. In turn, Moscow is unwilling to provide Baku with the authorities Azerbaijan wants to.

It should be recalled that Baku has repeatedly stated the need in its presence and control in the Lachin corridor. In addition, Baku demanded to put an end to the sending of military personnel from Armenia to Karabakh and the withdrawal of the remaining Armenian forces from Karabakh.

Thus, at present, the presence of peacekeepers in Karabakh has no legal basis and is carried out on the basis of oral agreements which makes their status unstable.

* Russian peacekeepers numbering about 2.000 were introduced into Karabakh after the trilateral declaration on November 10, 2020. In fact, they are busy protecting the Armenian population and the separatist leadership which declares that it will continue to fight “for independence and against the aggression of Azerbaijan.”

This article originally appeared in TURAN INFORMASIYA AGENTLIYI on 06 Sep 2021.