Russian foreign ministry: sustainable peace, return of refugees and establishment of normal life in Nagorno-Karabakh are main priorities

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YEREVAN, February 26. /ARKA/. The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova was asked today during a press briefing why a number of foreign journalists, individuals, tourists and representatives of charitable and international organizations were not allowed to enter the Nagorno-Karabakh by Russian peacekeepers, who say the ban comes from Azerbaijani authorities.

“I think we should all ask ourselves one question – what do we want? To develop tourism in Artsakh at this stage? Is this the main task? Or seek sustainable peace, the return of refugees and the establishment of normal life? We must answer this most important question. And as we understand, what we want is a sustainable peace, the return of people and the establishment of a normal life, including a gradual transition to solving the remaining issues, of which there are a lot,” Zakharova said.

According to Zakharova, the peacekeepers, together with the parties sort out each specific case to decide whether to allow this or that person to enter Nagorno-Karabakh or not.

“But in my opinion, all the parties – both those who signed under the relevant agreement of 2020 and those parties who see themselves as contributing to the resolution of the situation and are in contact with the parties and international organizations – the main task is to ensure sustainable peace and the return of people and return of normal life to that territory. Everything else will be solved after the main task is solved,” Zakharova said.

At the same time, she noted that there are many provocations and difficult situations that are outside the framework of clear legal regulation.

“This conflict was very long and difficult. We want that journalists work everywhere, in all parts of the world and tourists could travel, but there are realities on earth and there is a main task on which we must all concentrate, ”Zakharova said.

“Nothing should divert us from this main task, otherwise we will simply disrupt its implementation, and this cannot be allowed. Everyone paid too much and too dear a price,” Zakharova said.

On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijani armed forces, backed by Turkey and foreign mercenaries and terrorists, attacked Nagorno-Karabakh along the entire front line using rocket and artillery weapons, heavy armored vehicles, military aircraft and prohibited types of weapons such as cluster bombs and  phosphorus weapons.

After 44 days of the war, on November 9, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities. According to the document, the parties stopped at where they were at that time. The town of Shushi, the districts of Agdam, Kelbajar and Lachin were handed over to Azerbaijan, with the exception of a 5-kilometer corridor connecting Karabakh with Armenia.

A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed along the contact line in Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor. Internally displaced persons and refugees are returning to Karabakh and adjacent regions, prisoners of war, hostages and other detained persons and bodies of the dead are being exchanged.–0-

 

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