STEPANAKERT (Azatutyun) — Tens of thousands of people rallied in Stepanakert on Sunday, October 30, as Nagorno-Karabakh’s political leaders again rejected Azerbaijani control over the Armenian-populated territory and appealed for continued Russian military presence there.
In a statement, the Karabakh parliament also said that Armenia’s government must be careful about recognizing Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity through a bilateral peace treaty that has been discussed by Yerevan and Baku in recent weeks.
The statement was unanimously approved at an emergency session broadcast live to a massive crowd that gathered in Stepanakert’s main square. It was one of the biggest rallies ever held in Karabakh.
The legislature appealed to Russia to “continue its commitment to ensure the security of the people of Artsakh (Karabakh)” and “put in place additional political and military mechanisms” for that purpose. It did not specify those mechanisms.
Russia deployed 2,000 peacekeeping troops in Karabakh after brokering the ceasefire that stopped the 2020 Armenian-Azerbaijani war.
Karabakh leaders said last week that Russian peace proposals made recently are far more beneficial for the Karabakh Armenians than an Armenian-Azerbaijani deal promoted by the West. They claimed that Moscow wants to indefinitely delay an agreement on Karabakh’s status while the Western powers favor the restoration of Azerbaijani control over Karabakh.