Russia has leverages to persuade Armenia to withdraw from Azerbaijani lands – expert
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 7
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
Russia has leverages to persuade Armenia to withdraw its forces from Azerbaijan's occupied regions, says Maxim Shevchenko, a Russian TV presenter and former member of the country's Civic Chamber.
"Armenians claim they keep under occupation the seven Azerbaijani districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh because those regions are a buffer zone of security," said the expert.
Obviously, if Russia provides a guarantee for security, Armenia will withdraw its troops from those regions, he added.
Shevchenko believes that currently Russia is the only country that can put forward a proposal for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"Russia succeeded to bring Azerbaijani and Armenian chiefs of general staffs to the negotiations table," he said.
Russia holds direct talks with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan, said Shevchenko, adding Russia's position in this situation is unique and irreplaceable.
The expert believes that in the current situation, the primary task in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is to overcome the escalation and return to the political settlement process.
On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population.
Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.
Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry earlier said. Ignoring the agreement, the Armenian side again started violating the ceasefire.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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