MOSCOW, January 11 – RIA Novosti. At a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated the need to outline the next steps for the settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh, including the activities of peacekeepers and the solution of humanitarian problems.
“I think today it would be important to first of all, outline the next steps in the key areas of settlement, specified in the joint statement of November 9 last year. I mean the issues related to the activities of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, demarcation lines clarification, humanitarian problems solution, protection of facilities cultural heritage, ” Putin said.
The conflict in Karabakh began in 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced withdrawing from the Azerbaijan SSR. In the course of the armed confrontation in 1992-1994, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. Since 1992, negotiations have been underway on a peaceful settlement of the conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, headed by three co-chairs – Russia, the United States and France. Azerbaijan insists on preserving its territorial integrity, Armenia protects the interests of the unrecognized republic, since NKR is not a party to the negotiations. At the end of September last year, hostilities resumed in Nagorno-Karabakh, thus becoming a continuation of the long-term conflict and leading to casualties among the civilian population. The parties made several attempts to conclude a truce, but the tripartite agreement reached on the night of November 10 turned out to be successful. With the mediation of Moscow, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to completely cease fire and exchange prisoners and bodies of the dead. Yerevan handed over as well the Kelbajar, Lachin and Aghdam regions to Baku. In addition, Russian peacekeepers are stationed in the region.
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