Defense Minister Suren Papikyan on Thursday met with the commander of the Russian ground forces in Armenia General Oleg Salyukov and the newly-appointed commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Artsakh, Major-General Kill Kulakov.
In meeting with the two military officials, Papikyan outlined the challenges facing Armenia and Artsakh and Azerbaijan’s is beefing up its forces along the border. Yerevan has warned the international community of an impending military attack by Azerbaijan.
“During the meeting the current situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, around Nagorno Karabakh and the operational situation and existing issues in the area of responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, as well as a number of issues aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Nagorno Karabakh were discussed,” Armenia’s defense ministry said in a statement.
Papikyan emphasized the importance of the unconditional implementation of all the provisions of the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020, and highlighted the need for efforts aimed at unblocking the Lachin Corridor as soon as possible.
Papikyan also provided information on the movement and concentration of Azerbaijani armed forces along the borders, ongoing provocations and shootings targeting Armenian outposts, as well as a simultaneous disinformation campaign.
The Kremlin on Thursday said that it is concerned about the ongoing tension in Nagorno-Karabakh, adding that it continues contacts with Azerbaijan and Armenia
“Certainly, we [Russia] are concerned that the tension is not easing and in some places it is even increasing. Regardless of anything, Russia remains a reliable guarantor of security [in the region]. We continue our contacts both with Yerevan and Baku,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was quoted by the Tass news agency as saying.
“And of course, we call for restraint on both sides in the spirit of the tripartite documents that were signed two years ago. Of course, taking into account the new realities that have emerged since then,” Peskov added.