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Russia Reaffirms ‘Commitment To Armenia’s Security’


NAGORNO-KARABAKH -- Russian soldiers of the peacekeeping force man a checkpoint on a road outside the city of Stepanakert, November 26, 2020

Russia pledged to continue bolstering Armenia’s national security and seeking a “long-term solution” to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as its diplomats commemorated the first anniversary of the outbreak of the Armenian-Azerbaijani war on Monday.

The Russian Embassy in Yerevan said its staff observed a minute of silence in memory of people killed during the six-year war stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire last November.

“Russia attaches particular importance to ensuring that Armenia’s population overcomes the stress caused by the war, feels safe, and gains confidence in the future as soon as possible,” it said in a statement. “As allies, we are always ready to lend a shoulder and we are doing that.

“Active efforts and practical steps are being taken to preserve regional stability and security, overcome the consequences of last autumn’s large-scale hostilities, including assistance in the restoration of civil infrastructure, the return of refugees and the final resolution of the issue of Armenian prisoners’ release.”

“Russia will continue mediation efforts both in its national capacity and within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group to find a long-term solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” added the statement.

Moscow played a key role in stopping the fighting that left at least 6,700 Armenians and Azerbaijanis dead. Under the terms of an Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire deal brokered by President Vladimir Putin, it deployed 2,000 Russian peacekeeping troops in Karabakh. Russian troops were also deployed along Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan.

Shortly after the war Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian pledged to further deepen Armenia’s defense and security ties with Russia, saying that his country needs “additional security guarantees” in view of the new geopolitical realities in the region. The Russian military has since been helping the South Caucasus state reform and rearm its army.

The Russian ambassador in Yerevan, Sergei Kopyrkin, met with Armenia’s former President Levon Ter-Petrosian on Monday. A spokesman for Ter-Petrosian said they discussed “prospects for regional cooperation and security.” He gave no other details.

Ter-Petrosian has blamed Pashinian’s government for Armenia’s defeat in the war. He has long championed a compromise solution to the Karabakh dispute.

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