The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday expressed concern over the situation in the Lachin corridor, a route connecting Armenia to the Caucasus territory of Karabakh.
The Russian side, in particular the leadership of the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent, continues to take consistent steps to resolve this situation, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a written statement published on the ministry’s website.
Zakharova criticized “provocations” against Russian peacekeepers, saying Moscow considers attacks against them as “unacceptable and deliberate actions that cause tangible harm to the process of Armenian-Azerbaijani normalization.”
“We call on Baku and Yerevan to strictly comply with all the provisions of the Statement of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia dated November 9, 2020.
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“We note that the Lachin corridor should be used only for the purposes indicated in this document. We hope that the parties will come to agreements concerning the development of ore deposits in the region,” she stressed.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have seen this month a new escalation over the Lachin corridor, with Yerevan, accusing Baku of blocking the passage.
Azerbaijani non-governmental organizations at the Lachin corridor have been protesting the “illegal exploitation of natural resources” and other illegal activities by Armenia, but they have not “closed” or blocked the corridor, according to Azerbaijan.
The current dispute marks the latest flashpoint in decades of tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The mountainous enclave is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but its inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Armenian.
It broke away from Baku’s control in a war in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as the former Soviet Union was disintegrating. About 30,000 people died in the conflict.
In 2020, Azerbaijan retook territory in and around the territory after a second war that ended in a Russian-brokered ceasefire and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers along the Lachin corridor.
The leaders of both countries have met several times since to try and hammer out a treaty intended to establish lasting peace.
No such agreement has been reached yet and violations of the 2020 truce remain commonplace, with more than 200 soldiers killed on both sides during a flare-up of fighting in September.
Anadolu Agency story with additional input from Global Village Space News Desk.