BAKU, December 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks about Nagorno-Karabakh are an important signal to those forces that seek to prevent the implementation of the trilateral statement signed by the Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said on Friday at an online meeting of the CIS Heads of State Council.
“In an interview with the media yesterday, Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] once again pointed out that Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan. This is not the first statement of this kind. I believe this is a very important statement. It is important for those revanchist forces in Armenia, which are trying to revise the conditions of the statement of November 10 [November 9 Moscow time – TASS]. Unfortunately, there are such forces, and this is a very important signal to those who are trying to prevent the implementation of that statement. We saw such attempts both during the war and after the statement was signed,” Aliyev emphasized.
According to the Azerbaijani president, some “foreign circles” that are dissatisfied with Russia’s leading role in the ceasefire would similarly like to revise the terms of the deal. “We saw attempts by certain foreign circles, which were dissatisfied with the fact that they stayed on the sidelines, dissatisfied with the fact that Russia was instrumental in achieving the ceasefire. They tried to muddy the waters in every possible way, and, unfortunately, they are pushing ahead with their attempts. This is especially true of the situation in Armenia. [They are seeking] to use certain levers, various infrastructure that has been created in Armenia, including the Soros infrastructure, in order to incite unrest in Armenian society and essentially to derail that statement,” he said.
“I would like to once again thank Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for such active participation and [his] enormous contribution to the resolution of this conflict,” he concluded.
On Thursday, Putin said at his annual news conference that, from the viewpoint of international law, Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan. He noted that Russia adhered to that position within the OSCE Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh. Referring to the status of the region, Putin noted that it should be unchanged now, while the issue of its definition should be solved in the future.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku and Yerevan have disputed sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when the region announced its secession from the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic. In the armed conflict of 1992-1994, Azerbaijan lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjoining districts.
On November 9 (November 10 Baku time), Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. Under the document, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides stopped at the positions that they had held, and Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the region. Later on, some districts were handed over to Azerbaijan’s control.
After the document was made public, opposition protests erupted in Armenia. Opposition supporters believe that this statement essentially spells Armenia’s surrender, and they hold Pashinyan responsible for the country’s economic and social woes. Opposition marches are being held in Armenia’s capital of Yerevan practically on a daily basis. Given these events, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has called for holding early parliamentary elections and transferring power to the government of national accord until then.