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Russia: “The only alternative is war” – Putin on Nagorno-Karabakh deal

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War in Nagorno-Karabakh is the only alternative to the trilateral agreement between Moscow, Yerevan, and Baku, Russian President Vladimir Putin said while discussing the Russian peacekeeping mission with Russian officials in Novo-Ogaryovo via videoconference on Friday.

“I was surprised to hear what you have said about the tendency to slow down the implementation of the trilateral statement of the presidents of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. People who are trying to do that must understand that the only alternative is war,” the Russian president explained.

The Russian leader praised the work of peacekeepers implementing the agreement, pointing out that the ceasefire had been maintained by both sides, and adding that “the situation has stabilised.”

Putin revealed that a Russian interdepartmental delegation will be sent to both Armenia and Azerbaijan to review issues regarding the implementation of the agreement.

The Russian leader stressed the importance of the settlement to Moscow, adding that it “has a domestic political dimension for us and is very important for our domestic security and politics.”

Putin also proposed to involve international humanitarian organisations, including UNESCO and the United Nations Children’s Fund, in order to deal with the conflicts’ results.

“I would like to emphasise the need to protect historical and religious landmarks, both in Azerbaijan and Armenia. This issue is of great moral and human importance. I believe UNESCO’s involvement is much needed in this respect. We also hope for UNESCO’s aid to children and teenagers that are particularly defenceless when confronted with the horrors of armed conflicts,” Putin added.

Following weeks of hostilities, Armenia and Azerbaijan signed an agreement to end fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region on November 9.

Under the terms of the deal, 1,960 Russian peacekeepers will be deployed in the disputed region to monitor the ceasefire.

The agreement also sees Azerbaijan maintaining control of the territory taken in the most recent fighting, with Armenia set to relinquish control of further areas held since the 1990s.

SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): ” Conflicts like this, their settlement is particularly important to us. It has special significance for us and plays a special role. These are not empty words for us. I am referring to the fact that millions of Armenians and Azerbaijanis live in Russia. We are linked with their republics by centuries-long ties, without exaggeration. This also has a domestic political dimension for us and is very important for our domestic security and politics.”

SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): ” I would like to take this opportunity to point out the precise and well-coordinated work of the Russian peacekeepers. Prompt demining has made it possible to establish reliable communications in the region, and deploying our peacekeeping forces made it possible to stop the bloodshed and avoid more casualties. Our military is maintaining effective control over the ceasefire, which is being observed by both sides. Overall, the situation has stabilised.”

SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): “You may be aware that I am in constant touch with my colleagues in Armenia and Azerbaijan. I agreed with both leaders that a Russian interdepartmental delegation consisting of the heads of a number of ministries and departments would be sent to Armenia and Azerbaijan soon. Its goal is to review the most pressing issues of implementing the trilateral statement of November 9.”

SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): ” I would like to emphasise the need to protect historical and religious landmarks, both in Azerbaijan and Armenia. This issue is of great moral and human importance. I believe UNESCO’s involvement is much needed in this respect. We also hope for UNESCO’s aid to children and teenagers that are particularly defenceless when confronted with the horrors of armed conflicts. The Russian Foreign Ministry has instructions to work in all of these areas. We expect to receive tangible results in the near future.”

SOT, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (Russian): ” I was surprised to hear what you have said about the tendency to slow down the implementation of the trilateral statement of the presidents of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. People who are trying to do that must understand that the only alternative is war. And if God forbid, this will happens, the blood of the victims will be on the hands of those who are trying to torpedo these agreements. Everyone should understand and be aware of that.”

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