Russian Deputies Comment on Karabakh

LONDON (Itar-Tass)Russia is ready to place peace-keepers in Nagorno-Karabakh and finally settle the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia–Russian Federation Council Deputy Speaker Vasily Likhachev and head of the Duma Defense Committee Lieutenant-General Lev Rokhlin told Itar-Tass in an exclusive interview Friday.

They were attending an international seminar on European security and armed forces reform– which is underway in London on the initiative of the International Institute of Strategic Studies.

Russia is ready to separate the conflicting sides if Baku and Yerevan wish to have Russian peace-keepers in the Karabakh conflict zone and this wish is confirmed by an agreement–Likhachev said.

Rokhlin said that the solution of the Karabakh problem will guarantee stability for Transcaucasia and the Caspian region.

"The Caspian Sea–being the future oil treasury of the world–is an extremely important region for future international relations. That is why many countries–including Russia–Great Britain–the United States and France are striving to assert their interests in the Caspian region," he said.

When investing billions of dollars in the regional economy–these countries and the whole international community cannot allow their huge investmen’s to disappear in an outburst of a new bloody conflict or hotbeds of tension in Transcaucasia," he added.

The Caspian stability remains in question bearing in mind the Karabakh tension between Baku and Yerevan–Rokhlin said. "Azerbaijan will not put up with seizure of its territories–and it will solve this problem in this or that way. Ankara may make use of Moscow’s weaker military presence in Transcaucasia. It has made clear proposals of military support to Baku," he said.

"That is why–we should boost the in Nagorno-Karabakh by showing to Yerevan and Baku that Russia is striving of Russia to build friendly and respectful relations with both countries. Stability of this region is a key geo-strategic interest of Russia," he said.

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