Armenia has taken 'ambiguous' stance on some issues, including Karabakh: Russia
Foreign Minister spokeswoman reacts to Armenian premier's remarks that Moscow reduced its efforts on Karabakh after start of its 'special military operation,' saying 'such talks have no ground'
By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) – Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday that Armenian authorities take "an ambiguous position" on a number of key issues in the Karabakh settlement, including the deployment of Russian peacekeepers.
At a news conference in Moscow, Zakharova reacted to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's remarks that Moscow reduced its efforts on the Karabakh after the start of its "special military operation" in Ukraine, saying "such talks have no ground."
She pointed out that a series of talks took place at different levels over the last three months, including between heads of state and foreign ministers.
"Let's face the truth, the matter is that Baku and Yerevan have to consistently implement the reached agreements… for our part, we're ready to help, but the priority is the implementation by the parties of what was agreed upon," she stressed.
Pashinyan's remarks about the possible withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the Karabakh region, Zakharova said, are also "unclear."
"Is this Mr. Pashinyan's wish, I don't understand. What is he talking about? Is that what he wants?
"Unfortunately, we often see representatives of the Armenian leadership taking some kind of ambiguous position on a number of key issues, and I would very much like there to be no ambiguity on this point. Because juggling words doesn't do any good," she emphasized.
The spokeswoman noted that the Armenian top officials have many times praised the role of the Russian peacekeeping mission in ensuring security in the area where troops are deployed.
"Therefore, such attempts to question (the peacekeepers' presence) raise big questions: why is this being done? And besides, after the Armenian leadership recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijani, any claims against Russia about the lack of efforts look doubly inappropriate," she stressed.
When asked about territorial disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Zakharova said Russia believes they should be resolved through a commission set up specifically for this purpose.
Zakharova also commented on separate incidents on the Lachin road, saying "Such cases have a negative impact on an already difficult situation."
According to her assessment, contacts between Baku and the leadership of the Armenian population in the Karabakh region will help resolve the conflict in general.
"We support the start of negotiations between Baku and Stepanakert (Karabakh). This topic is on the agenda of our contacts with interested parties. Russian peacekeepers have previously helped organize meetings between the two delegations, and they are ready to continue to provide the necessary assistance," she noted.
"We reaffirm the need to unblock the Lachin corridor and ensure normal living conditions for the local population. Of course, a lot also depends on political will and willingness to take compromise steps. And in this case, the tension can be removed, and for this, we are working with the parties," she said.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The war ended with a Russia-brokered peace agreement.
Despite the ongoing talks on a peace agreement, tensions between the neighboring countries increased in recent months over the Lachin corridor, the only land route giving Armenia access to Karabakh.
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