Russia has failed to fulfill its obligations under a trilateral agreement signed after the cessation of hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said.
“The complete withdrawal of the remnants of the Armenian armed forces operating on the territory of Azerbaijan has not been ensured so far. On the contrary, the Armenian armed forces are supported in the region under the supervision of the Russian peacekeeping contingent”, the ministry noted.
It also expressed “bewilderment and disappointment” over the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement on the “humanitarian crisis” in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was necessary to provide clear security guarantees to the Armenians living there, unblock the Lachin corridor, as well as launch the process of delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
Baku emphasized that this statement violates the Declaration on Mutual Cooperation between the countries and “does not correspond to the statements of Russian President Vladimir Putin in support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, including the Karabakh region”.
“Attempts to politicize the issue of the establishment of the Lachin border checkpoint, which is the sovereign right of Azerbaijan, and statements about the allegedly tense humanitarian situation in the region have no basis”, the ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry also recalled that Russia “has not taken any steps” to stop Yerevan’s “illegal activities” during the use of the Lachin road, namely “transportation of military cargo and mines from Armenia to Azerbaijan, rotation of illegal military formations, unauthorized importation of third-country nationals into the territory”, although Baku has repeatedly publicly mentioned this.
It stressed that over the past few months hundreds of Armenian residents have received permission from Azerbaijan to pass through the checkpoint on the Lachin road “in a clearly regulated and transparent manner”. Despite this, Yerevan opened fire at the checkpoints on June 15 and also attempted to carry out smuggling using International Committee of the Red Cross transport in July, the ministry added.
Baku also disliked the fact that Moscow stated the need to conclude a peace treaty and provide various guarantees to Yerevan after Armenia recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan’s territory at summits under the auspices of the European Union.
“It is unacceptable for the Russian Foreign Ministry to interpret and condition the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan in the context of the fact that the prime minister of Armenia, which has occupied our territories for almost 30 years, recognizes Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan”, the republic’s Foreign Ministry concluded.
On July 15, a trilateral meeting of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and EU Council President Charles Michel was held in Brussels. The latter said that the heads of state fully confirmed their respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, “based on the understanding that Armenia’s territory is 29,800 km² and Azerbaijan’s is 86,600 km²”.
Michel said the talks will continue in the same format in the fall. Azerbaijan and Armenia have said they could conclude a peace treaty by the end of 2023.