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Russia Vows Continued Relief Aid To Karabakh


Nagorno-Karabakh -- Local residents repair a roof with construction materials supplied by Russia as humanitarian aid, November 25, 2020.

Russian Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev has visited Armenia and Azerbaijan to discuss Moscow’s continuing humanitarian assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Zinichev held talks on Wednesday with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as well as his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts.

According to Russia’s Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergencies, he “expressed readiness to conduct an additional assessment of the humanitarian needs” of civilian areas in Karabakh gravely affected by the recent war and to provide them with more aid.

“The main objective of the ongoing humanitarian operation is a quick restoration of peaceful life in the region,” a ministry statement quoted Zinichev as saying.

In another statement issued on Thursday, the ministry said a fresh batch of Russian aid was delivered to Karabakh on Wednesday. It included construction materials, heaters and other household appliances.

RUSSIA - Personnel and equipment of a Russian Emergencies Ministry unit is examined at the Noginsk Rescue Center before being sent to Nagorno-Karabakh on humanitarian mission, November 23, 2020.
RUSSIA - Personnel and equipment of a Russian Emergencies Ministry unit is examined at the Noginsk Rescue Center before being sent to Nagorno-Karabakh on humanitarian mission, November 23, 2020.

Russia deployed about 2,000 peacekeeping troops in Karabakh shortly after brokering the Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire agreement that stopped the six-week war on November 10. It also opened in Stepanakert a “center for humanitarian reaction.”

The center coordinates ongoing Russian-led demining operations in Karabakh and is also tasked with helping to rebuild homes and public infrastructure destroyed or seriously damaged during the hostilities.

Zinichev’s ministry claims to have sent a total of 1,500 tons of relief supplies to Karabakh so far. Pashinian thanked Moscow for this assistance when he met with Zinichev in Yerevan.

The war displaced an estimated 90,000 ethnic Armenian residents of Karabakh making up 60 percent of the disputed territory’s population. Most of them fled to Armenia. Officials say that at least 42,000 refugees have returned to Karabakh since the start of the Russian peacekeeping operation.

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