The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed “serious concern” over the situation in the area of responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh, on the Armenian-Azerbaijani line of contact, and also in the dialogue between the official Baku and Yerevan.
“With extreme concern, we note the growth in the number of ceasefire violations and various incidents, which regularly lead to casualties on both sides,” noting that the increased aggressive pullic rhetoric in Azerbaijan and Armenia “is no less dangerous.”
In the context of the recent development of the events of April 23, we especially note the inadmissibility of any unilateral steps in violation of the basic provisions of the tripartite statement of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia dated November 9, 2020, whether we are talking about an uncoordinated change in the mode of functioning of the Lachin Corridor or about attempts to use it for purposes that do not correspond to the peace agenda,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The statement comes after the Azerbaijani side set up a checkpoint at the entry of the Lachin corridor, where Russian peacekeepers are stationed.
The Ministry urges the parties to immediately return to existing agreements. “We proceed from the fact that in any case the local population should not suffer and no obstacles should be created for its vital activity,”
“We believe that many of the problems that have arisen are the result of many months of idleness and the lack of progress in the negotiation process on the main tracks of the tripartite agreements of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, including the unblocking of transport communications in the region, the start of the process of delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the coordination of the parameters of the peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia. We expect that Baku and Yerevan will show political will and manage to overcome this negative dynamic in the near future,” the statement reads.
“The Russian side is ready to provide all the necessary assistance to those close to it, Azerbaijan and Armenia, both at the political level and “on the ground” – with the participation of the peacekeeping command,” teh Foreign Minister said.
It also warned “external Western players” against attempts to escalate the situation, including by defaming Russia.