A disagreement on approaches between Russia and Azerbaijan surfaced regarding the Parukh village in Artsakh’s Askeran region, where Azerbaijani forces in March breached the line-of-contact and advanced their positions in the Armenian-controlled portion of Artsakh.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is visiting Yerevan, told reporters Thursday that stabilizing the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is among the priorities of the Russian peacekeepers stationed in Artsakh since the 2020 war.
Lavrov, who was speaking at a press conference with his Armenian counterpart, Ararat Mirzoyan, was specifically asked what the Russian peacekeepers were doing to de-occupy Parukh and push Azerbaijani forces back to their initial positions, since 400 residents of the area are unable to return to their homes because of Azerbaijan’s continued aggression.
“As for the situation [in Parukh], it is one of the priorities of the Russian servicemen, and our Armenian friends are very well informed about that,” said Lavrov. “There are also some results in terms of easing of tension on the ground, and we view that these issues will be observed and will be definitely solved within the launching substantive border delimitation efforts.”
Mirzoyan told reporters that Russia was instrumental in stopping the aggression and the further escalation of the issue. He also said that Yerevan continues to believe that the Russian peacekeepers are able to restore the status quo in the region.
“The deployment of peacekeeping forces in Nagorno Karabakh as a factor to prevent provocations and ensure the security of the people of Artsakh is aimed at creating conditions for restoring the normal life and ensuring stability and security in our region,” Mirzoyan said.
Official Baku was quick to counter Lavrov’s statements, insisting that the Parukh region “has no connection with the border demarcation issues with Armenia” since it is located in Azerbaijan’s Khojalu region,
“The commissions created by Azerbaijan and Armenia are aimed at delimitating and demarcating of borders between the two countries,” Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Leyla Abdulayeva said in a statement.
Abdulayeva emphasized that it is not envisioned that the border process will address areas outside of the borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, including those areas where Russian peacekeeping forces are temporarily being stationed.