Vladimir Putin

Putin: Status of Karabakh Is Not Resolved

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MOSCOW (Combined Sources) — The status of Nagorno Karabakh will be determined in the future, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, November 17, in an interview with Russia TV.

Putin said he believes that the “end of war” agreement on Karabakh between Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan provides an opportunity to resolve the situation in the future. “The most important thing that has been accomplished is the cessation of bloodshed,” he said.

Putin noted that on October 19-20, an agreement was reached to end the fighting in Karabakh, but it was not successful.

He said that in October he persuaded Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to stop hostilities on the condition of the return of Azerbaijani refugees to Shushi, but to Putin’s surprise, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan didn’t agree and decided to continue the war.

According to Putin, the situation on the ground in Karabakh was at a critical point before the cessation of hostilities, the situation was changing each hour, and it was impossible to negotiate within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group because of a lack of time.

The Russian president says that Armenia’s refusal of the current agreement on Karabakh would have been suicide for the country.

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Speaking about lack of Russia’s and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) intervention in the war, Putin explained that Armenia’s territory was not attacked.

“Under international law, Karabakh has always been an integral part of Azerbaijan. The CSTO could not intervene; no one attacked Armenia,” he said.

“As for Turkey and its role, this is well known, it has been talked about many times in Azerbaijan. The Turkish side has never hidden it. They have unilaterally supported Azerbaijan,” Putin said.

Touching on the internal political situation in Armenia, the Russian President expressed that it is necessary to unite the country, not to divide it. At the same time, he insisted that the accusations against the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan were baseless.

“There are no grounds for accusations of treason against [Pashinyan],” Putin said.

He also spoke about being able to convince Turkey not to send peacekeeping forces.

“Azerbaijan and Turkey always talked about the possibility of Turkey’s participation in peacekeeping efforts. Anyway, I think that we have been able to persuade our Turkish partners and our colleagues in Azerbaijan that conditions that can thwart our agreements should not be created, conditions that can push one of the parties of the agreement to some extreme methods and extreme actions,” Putin said, clarifying that he means the very heavy legacy of the past years and the tragic and bloody incidents and the genocide that took place during the years of the World War I.

“It’s a factor that can be recognized or not recognized. Someone recognizes it, someone does not recognize it. But there are no issues for Russia here. We recognized it long ago. So why to provoke Armenia with the presence of Turkish soldiers on the contact line? I think President Erdogan also admitted this and understood. We encountered no problems here,” the Russian President said.

(Civilnet and Armenpress contributed to this report.)

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