Vladimir Putin: The future of peacekeepers in Karabakh has not yet been determined, but a peace agreement is real
What are the legal grounds for the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh after this region comes under the full control of Azerbaijan? To this question asked by journalists to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Bishkek, he answered:
“When Armenia recognized that Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan, then it turned out that our peacekeepers are, without any doubt, on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
And of course, now – especially after, frankly speaking, the difficult events associated with the exodus of the Armenian population – the situation has already changed completely, radically.
But formally, our peacekeepers will be there until November 2025, and we, of course, in dialogue with our partners will have to determine and resolve the issue of what and how we will do in the near future. We will decide this during negotiations.”
When asked what the prospects for a peace agreement between Baku and Yerevan are, the Russian President again recalled Yerevan’s decision to recognize Karabakh as the territory of Azerbaijan.
This statement, which Pashinyan made in Prague, “defined the status of Karabakh: Armenia recognized that Karabakh is part of the Republic of Azerbaijan.”
In previous years, the parties were close to an agreement on Karabakh. The problem was – the referendum. Azerbaijan was against setting a date for the referendum.
“Because if in the current conditions a referendum is held – and regardless of whether tomorrow or even in 20 years – the result of the referendum will be clear. And therefore it was proposed to simply attribute this to the decision of future generations.”
The Armenian side, on the contrary, insisted on setting the date for the referendum, and at this referendum determining the status of Karabakh. Because they also proceeded from the fact that even if the referendum is held in 20 years, with the current composition of the population, the result will be obvious.”
But after Pashinyan’s Prague statement, the topic of the referendum was closed, and after “recent difficult events and the exodus of the Armenian population, the situation has changed dramatically,” Putin noted.
“We will be ready to facilitate the resumption of peace negotiations in the hope of concluding a peace agreement and have invited all colleagues to gather in Moscow. Prime Minister Pashinyan knows about this, I told him, the President of Azerbaijan knows about this. It seems to me that this is quite possible.”
According to Putin, there are technical issues related to the demarcation and delimitation of the border.
“100 meters in one direction, a kilometer in the other, it doesn’t matter anymore. With good will on both sides, this can all be resolved,” Putin believes.
This article originally was published in Turan on October 13, 2023.