Russian peacekeepers have nothing to do in Armenia after leaving Karabakh, Pashinyan says


Russian peacekeepers have nothing to do in Armenia after leaving Karabakh, Pashinyan says

There is no legal basis for Russian peacekeepers stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh to move to Armenia, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an interview with the Public TV Channel on 10 October.

“I don’t see the logic in this. This is the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. If they leave Nagorno-Karabakh, they must go to Russia. Whether they will go to Russia through Azerbaijan or through Armenia is another question and I don’t think this is a matter of major importance. But there is and can be no legal basis for them to remain in Armenia,” the prime minister said.

To note, after September 19, when Azerbaijan launched its military aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh, the entire Armenian population was forced to leave their homes. Currently, the Russian peacekeeping contingent is holding discussions with Azerbaijan regarding its presence in Nagorno-Karabakh. On October 9, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mikhail Galuzin said that the Russian mission in Nagorno-Karabakh is still needed.

At the same time, Pashinyan did not question the presence of Russian border troops or the 102nd military base in Armenia.

Armenia - Russian Federation relations 

In general, according to the head of the Armenian government, Yerevan does not intend to change its foreign policy vector. Relations with the EU are developing within the framework of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, and with Russia - within the framework of the EAEU and CSTO.

“I want to tell you a secret about our first meeting with the President of the Russian Federation in 2018 in Sochi - it was May or June. The President of the Russian Federation told me: I know that there is a lot of discussion that Russia interferes in the affairs of other countries, violates their sovereignty, and so on. And he confirmed his respect for the sovereignty of Armenia, its independence and freedom to make decisions. And we, in fact, are building our relations on the basis of the agreements reached at that meeting,” Pashinyan said.

Negotiations in 3+3 format

Armenia is ready for negotiations in the 3+3 format and considers this format extremely important, the Prime Minister said, noting that he would not want to create the impression that Armenia underestimates the countries of the region. “This is not at all true; on the contrary, one of the subtleties of our foreign policy is that regional relations are very important to us, and we do not consider them outside the international context,” the Prime Minister noted.

"Zangezur Corridor" and the railway

“It must be stated that the Republic of Armenia did not make any promises to anyone in the terms that Turkey and Azerbaijan use. There are subtleties here, because it is important how these terms are perceived. In Armenia, the general public perceives that wording as territorial claims or a demand for an extraterritorial corridor,” the Prime Minister said.

Pashinyan emphasized that the tripartite statement of November 9 indicated one corridor that would be controlled by a third party and this is the Lachin corridor. At the same time, the Prime Minister emphasized that Armenia is ready to unblock the railway through its territory if Yerevan maintains sovereign control over the road.

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