Ready to extend Russia's peacekeeping mission immediately: Pashinyan
Armenia's Prime Minister announces his readiness to sign a document to extend Russia's peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabagh.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced his readiness to sign on extending the Russian peacekeeping mission in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region for over 10 years.
The Prime Minister stated that he is willing to sign the document during the upcoming meeting on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, which will take place in Sochi, where Putin will have separate meetings with the two presidents.
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"I officially declare that I am ready to sign a document in Sochi so that the representation of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh is unconditionally ensured for 10, 15, 20 years," said Pashinyan, adding, "I propose that the Russian president make this proposal, if necessary, I will make such a proposal. But Russia must support this proposal since I cannot determine the terms of the stay of the Russian peacekeepers, this is a trilateral document, and if we and Russia agree, we will be the majority."
Commenting on the proposal made by Pashinyan, Kremlin's spokesperson stated, "we need to wait for the meeting itself."
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Earlier last week, the Armenian Prime Minister said that he may sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan by the end of the year and that Yerevan will initiate a meeting of CSTO leaders to discuss the situation on the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, waiting for a clear assessment of the situation.
After six weeks of violence in the autumn of 2020 that claimed over 6,500 lives and ended with a ceasefire accord sponsored by Russia, Moscow sent 2,000 peacekeepers to monitor the truce, but tensions remain despite a ceasefire deal.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought two conflicts over Azerbaijan's Armenian-populated area of Nagorno-Karabakh, one in 2020 and one in the 1990s.
Clashes erupt every now and then between both sides despite a Russian-backed ceasefire agreement. During recent months, tensions erupted over Nagorno-Karabakh as both sides exchanged border shelling after Azerbaijan targeted several Armenian sites, following which Baku announced that it took control of several strategic heights in the disputed region.