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Russia says deployment of EU mission in Armenia to 'exacerbate existing contradictions'

Russia says deployment of EU mission in Armenia to 'exacerbate existing contradictions'
Moscow does not see any value in presence of non-regional player in Karabakh, Foreign Ministry says

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) - Russia on Thursday said deployment of the EU monitoring mission in Armenia's regions that border Azerbaijan will "only bring geopolitical confrontation to the region and exacerbate existing contradictions."

The Foreign Ministry in a statement said had Brussels been sincerely interested in peace in Karabakh, it would have obtained Baku's approval on the work of the mission.

Earlier this week, the European Council said it agreed to establish a civilian European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA) to “contribute to stability in the border areas of Armenia, building confidence on the ground, and ensuring an environment conducive to normalisation efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

Moscow does not see any value in presence of a non-regional player in Karabakh, the ministry said.

"The key factor of stability and security in the region for the foreseeable future remains the Russian peacekeeping contingent ... as well as Russian border guards serving on the Armenian borders. They will react to the behavior of the EU observers taking into account the development of the situation 'on the ground'," the ministry noted.

It said Armenia preferred the EU mission over the Collective Security Treaty Organization's forces.

"As before, we believe that the most stable and long-term basis for the Armenian-Azerbaijani normalization and overall improvement of the situation in the region is the strict and consistent implementation of the trilateral agreements of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia," it said.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Most of the territory was liberated by Baku during a war in the fall of 2020, which ended after a Russian-brokered peace agreement and also opened the door to normalization.

Azerbaijan says the mission must not affect the normalization process, and should take into account its interests.

source: News Feed
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