Yerevan /Mediamax/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said that “the September events did not occur on an empty place” and that Armenians left Karabakh “voluntarily.”
“As you know, as a result of the September 19-20, 2023 hostilities, Karabakh came under the full control of Baku. Thanks to Russian efforts, including at the cost of the lives of six of our peacekeepers, significant civilian casualties were avoided. It should be noted that the above-mentioned September events did not occur on an empty place. The Armenian side recognized the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including Karabakh as part of it, as early as at the October 2022 summit in Prague under the auspices of the EU. However, the issue of ensuring the rights and security of the Armenian population of the region was not resolved then.
Now Karabakh is being integrated into the legal field of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, the majority of Karabakh Armenians have left the region. This was their hard but voluntary choice. In this regard, it is important to create conditions for the return of those who wish to do so, with their rights and security duly ensured. We are ready to provide all possible assistance to this process, including through the Russian peacekeeping contingent, whose presence is of key importance.
Given the radical change in the situation in Karabakh, the conditions for the stay of our peacekeepers are being discussed only with the Azerbaijani side. The dialogue with our partners is constructive. We resolve all emerging issues in a mutually acceptable manner. As for the extension of the mandate of the Russian peacekeeping contingent after November 2025, it will depend on the situation in the region, the demand for their continued presence and relevant agreements with Baku,” the diplomat told TASS.