BAKU: Russia and Azerbaijan are currently in the process of finalizing the scheduling details for the upcoming discussions concerning the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, as stated by Mikhail Yevdokimov, the Ambassador of Russia to Azerbaijan.
In an interview with Izvestiya newspaper, Ambassador Yevdokimov disclosed, “We are currently in the process of negotiating the timing of the next round of talks regarding our peacekeeping contingent between Moscow and Baku, in collaboration with the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister.”
Russia dispatched approximately 2,000 peacekeepers to the former “line of contact” and the Lachin Corridor in Nagorno-Karabakh following the 2020 ceasefire agreement brokered by Moscow between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Initially slated to remain until 2025, the peacekeeping mission can be extended for an additional five years under the terms of the ceasefire agreement, provided neither party opposes the extension.
The role of the Russian peacekeeping contingent has evolved since Azerbaijan assumed control of Nagorno-Karabakh. Ambassador Yevdokimov noted that Russian troops now conduct joint patrols alongside Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, safeguarding buildings and cultural sites.
In September 2023, Azerbaijan initiated ethnic cleansing operations in Nagorno-Karabakh, resulting in the forced displacement of the entire Armenian population, estimated at over 100,000 individuals, who sought refuge in Armenia following Azerbaijan’s military offensive.