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 Wednesday, April 17 2024 18:07
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Zatulin: There is "zero" need for Russian peacekeepers in  Nagorno-Karabakh

Zatulin: There is "zero" need for Russian peacekeepers in  Nagorno-Karabakh

ArmInfo. There is "zero" need for Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, since there are no  Armenians left on its territory. This was stated by first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, deputy Konstantin Zatulin.

"The withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the territory of  Karabakh is predetermined by two circumstances and is quite natural  in the current conditions. The first circumstance is the fact that  the Armenian government recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as part of  Azerbaijan, and from that moment everything that happens in this  territory became a topic of discussion between Russia and Azerbaijan,  without the participation of Armenia.

 The second circumstance  is that in 2023 Azerbaijan launched a  second wave of offensive and captured Nagorno-Karabakh, and the  Armenian population completely left its territory, it simply did not  remain there. Accordingly, the need for Russian peacekeepers to be  there in connection with this began to disappear," he told Gazeta.Ru.

Zatulin emphasized that Azerbaijan plans to "neutralize the traces of  the presence of Armenians" in the Republic, so the presence of  Russian peacekeepers there would become a reason for conflict for  both sides.  "One could cling to the prospects for the return of some  part of the Armenian population to Nagorno- Karabakh, one could  defend the idea that peacekeepers are there to guarantee the  preservation of Armenian property, cultural historical monuments,  including monuments of world historical significance. But in this  case, it would completely depend on the goodwill of Azerbaijan  itself, its desire to demonstrate its openness in this matter and its  desire to have witnesses of what it is going to do next on the  territory of Karabakh.  Apparently, it is going to digest this  territory and gradually eliminate the traces of the presence of  Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. In this situation, Russian  peacekeepers became a reason for conflicts: if they began to protest  against this, it would create problems in relations between Russia  and Azerbaijan.  If they didn't protest against this, just as they  didn't protest in 2023 against Azerbaijan's new operation in  Karabakh, then in this case they could be accused from the Armenian  country of being extras, simply accomplices of Azerbaijan in the  eradication of the Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh," he added.

According to the him, there are no reasons to start a new war in  Nagorno-Karabakh after the withdrawal of peacekeepers. "What kind of  war could there be as a result? There could be a war if people come  to power in Armenia and stop surrendering the territory of Armenia  and Armenian national interests, Azerbaijan will not agree with this.  But in today's situation, I don't see a prospect of a war over  Nagorno-Karabakh related to Russian peacekeepers. There are no  Armenians left there," Zatulin explained.

The Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed in Artsakh based on  a trilateral statement signed on November 9, 2020 between the leaders  of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. The statement stopped the war  initiated by the Azerbaijani-Turkish tandem against Artsakh. In  accordance with the agreements, 1,960 military personnel with small  arms, 90 armored personnel carriers and 380 units of automobile and  special equipment were sent there. It was planned to deploy  peacekeepers in the region for five years - until 2025.  After last  year's September aggression by Azerbaijan against Artsakh, against  the backdrop of the inaction of the entire international community,  and the mass exodus of Artsakhis, the need for peacekeepers generally  disappeared. 

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