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Friday, July 19, 2024  
12 Muharram 1446  

Armenia urges Moscow peacekeepers to keep vital road under control

Last weekend, Baku set up a checkpoint on the Lachin corridor
Photo. AFP
Photo. AFP

YEREVAN: Yerevan said on Thursday that Russian peacekeepers should have full control of the only land link between Armenia and the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The comments from Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan came as fresh tensions rage between arch enemies Armenia and Azerbaijan.

On Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna began a visit to Azerbaijan to hold talks on easing tensions in the South Caucasus. After visiting Baku, Colonna will travel to Yerevan.

Last weekend, Baku set up a checkpoint on the Lachin corridor, the only land link between Armenia and Azerbaijan’s Armenian-majority region in violation of Moscow-brokered agreements.

“Russian peacekeepers must keep the Lachin corridor under control and ensure the operation of the corridor,” Pashinyan said at a government meeting.

“No one except Russia has the right to control the corridor,” Pashinyan said.

The Armenian leader added that “a wider international presence in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin corridor is becoming more and more necessary every day.”

Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars over the mountainous enclave of Karabakh that have left tens of thousands dead.

Moscow brokered a ceasefire after the latest bout of fighting in 2020 and posted peacekeepers along the Lachin corridor.

Under the ceasefire agreement, Azerbaijan must guarantee safe passage through the corridor. Armenia has repeatedly accused Moscow peacekeepers of failing to protect ethnic Armenians living in the breakaway region.

On Wednesday, Pashinyan discussed the situation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said in a statement which pointed to an “aggravation of the situation”.

With Moscow bogged down in Ukraine and unwilling to hurt ties with Azerbaijan’s patron Turkey, the United States and European Union have sought to take the lead in peace talks.

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