A Russian military spokesman, Pavel Pautov, said the operations will be coordinated with Karabakh authorities. The latter will show Russian soldiers specific areas that need to be cleared from landmines and unexploded ordnance left over from six weeks of heavy fighting between Karabakh Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, he said.
The process will take several months, Pautov added that, according to Russian news agencies.
The Russian government said earlier that mine clearance will be one of the tasks of a “center for humanitarian reaction” opened by it in Stepanakert. It said the center, which officially began its work on Friday, will also assist in the return of Karabakh residents displaced by the war and reconstruction of the region’s civilian infrastructure destroyed or damaged by shelling.
Over the past week Russian peacekeepers have escorted on a daily basis convoys of buses transporting ethnic Armenian refugees back to Karabakh.
In a statement issued on Sunday night, Ara Harutiunian, the Karabakh president, thanked Russia and President Vladimir Putin in particular for helping to stop the war that killed thousands of soldiers from both warring sides. He also praised the Russian peacekeeping force, calling it an “important factor of stabilization.”