ArmInfo.The issue of extending the powers of the Russian peacekeeping contingent (RPC) in Nagorno-Karabakh after November 2025 will depend on the situation in the region, the demand for their continued presence and relevant agreements with Baku. Deputy Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Galuzin stated in an interview with TASS.
Let us recall that at the end of January in New York, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, answering a question about the future fate of the RPC and Armenian-Azerbaijani normalization, said that the issue of deploying Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh no longer concerns the Armenian side and is the subject of bilateral discussion with Baku.
According to Galuzin, as a result of the clashes on September 19-20, 2023, Karabakh came under the full control of Baku. "The mentioned September events has arisen not on an empty place. The Armenian side recognized the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including Karabakh within it, at a summit under the auspices of the EU in October 2022 in Prague. At the same time, the issue of ensuring the rights and security of the Armenian population of the region was not resolved then," he noted. "Now Karabakh is being integrated into the legal field of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, the majority of Karabakh Armenians left the region. It was their difficult but voluntary choice. In this regard, it is important to create conditions for the return of those who want to do so, while properly ensuring their rights and safety. We are ready to provide every possible assistance to this process, including through the Russian peacekeeping contingent, whose presence is of great importance.
Taking into account the radical change in the situation in Karabakh, the conditions of stay of our peacekeepers are discussed only with the Azerbaijani side. It should be noted that our dialogue with partners is constructive. We resolve all emerging issues in a mutually acceptable manner," said the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
It should be noted that according to the tripartite statement dated November 9, 2020, the RPS was supposed to be present in Artsakh until November 2025, with the possibility of further extension of the mandate. However, after last year's September Azerbaijani aggression and de-Armenization of the NKR, the question arose about the future fate of the peacekeepers remaining in the devastated city.