BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 27. The attempts of the EU to gain a foothold in Armenia at any cost and to press the mediation efforts of Russia can damage the fundamental interests of Armenians and Azerbaijanis in their aspirations to return to the peaceful development of the region, the statement of Russian Foreign Ministry said, Trend reports via TASS.
According to the statement, the key factor of stability and security in the region for the foreseeable future remains the Russian peacekeeping contingent deployed in accordance with the trilateral statement of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia dated November 10, 2020 [following the Second Karabakh War], as well as the Russian border guards serving on the Armenian frontiers.
"They will react to the behavior of the EU observers, taking into account the development of the situation on the ground. Yerevan, without bringing to its logical conclusion the work on sending the CSTO [Collective Security Organization] mission [to the border with Azerbaijan], preferred to make a choice in favor of the EU. If the Armenian allies remain interested in using the potential of the CSTO, its mission can be quickly deployed in Armenia," the statement noted.
“We still believe that the most stable and long-term basis for the Armenian-Azerbaijani normalization and, in general, improvement of the situation in the region is the strict and consistent implementation of the trilateral statements of the Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders dated November 10, 2020, January 11, November 26, 2021 and October 31, 2022, including the points on opening all transport and economic ties, delimitation and demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, agreeing on the parameters of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia, developing trilateral contacts between the public representatives, expert circles and MPs. Russia is ready to contribute to this in every possible way," added the statement.
The EU has decided to establish a civilian EU Mission in Armenia (EUMA) under the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border on January 23. The mission's initial mandate will last for two years, and its operational headquarters will be located in Armenia.
On October 17, 2022, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers at its meeting decided to deploy nearly 40 EU observers in Armenia, alongside the border with Azerbaijan, to monitor, analyze, and report on the situation in the South Caucasus. The EU Monitoring Capacity in Armenia (EUMCAP) completed its activities, as agreed in Prague, on December 19, 2022.
The decision stated that the objective of the Mission is to promote stability in the border areas of Armenia, build confidence on the ground, and ensure an environment conducive to EU-backed normalization efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan.