Moscow Denies Reports of Ending Peacekeeping Contingent Mission
During the past 24 hours, the Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh have dismantled two permanent and one temporary observation posts, the Russia’s Defense Ministry said.
“During the day, two permanent observations posts in Shushi and Askeran region and one temporary post in the Market region were closed after the disarming [of the Artsakh Army] and leaving the areas,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Moscow added that the inventory of arms that were handed over by the Artsakh Defense Army is ongoing.
A government source told the Tass news agency that reports that Russia is planning to end its peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh are not true.
“Reports by a number of media outlets suggesting that a Russian Defense Ministry delation is discussing with Baku and Yerevan the withdrawal of Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh is not true,” a diplomatic source told Tassl
“We are discussing planned contacts regarding the current activities of the peacekeepers,” added the source.
Again citing an unnamed diplomatic source, the official Tass news agency reported on Friday that a Russian military delegation will visit Yerevan later on Friday to discuss with Armenian officials time frames for the Russian withdrawal from Karabakh.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry spokesperson, Aram Torosyan, said, however, that he has “no information” about the visit. No Russian-Armenian talks on the issue have been scheduled so far, he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Thursday that the peacekeepers could not have thwarted the September 19 attack on Artsakh because Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan downgraded their mandate with his decision to recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Artsakh. Putin acknowledged that there are virtually no Armenians left in Karabakh.