Armenia remains Russia's ally, a close state. This was stated by the spokesperson of the Russian President, stressing that there are more Armenians living in Russia than in Armenia. "We will continue to perform our functions, we will continue the dialogue with Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, we will also continue to work so that all the rights of Karabakh Armenians are respected," Dmitry Peskov said, TASS reports.
He referred to the RA Prime Minister's statement that the Russian peacekeepers could have prevented Azerbaijan's military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh and they bear responsibility for what happened. "We understand the emotions of this moment, but we categorically disagree with the attempt to place the responsibility on the Russian side, or even more so on the Russian peacekeepers, who are showing real heroism by performing their functions according to the mandate. No one can tell the peacekeepers that they are doing something wrong. We will never agree with that reproach," he said.
The spokesperson of the Russian President said that the issue of the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh has not yet been resolved. "They are now actually in the territory of Azerbaijan. Contacts with Baku continue, peacekeepers provide assistance and are present at the negotiations that have already started between the Armenians of Karabakh and the authorities of Azerbaijan," he noted.
Moscow hopes that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s meetings with foreign leaders, including with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will help ensure security and normalize life in Nagorno-Karabakh, Peskov said.
"Each time we hope that all meetings the Azerbaijani president holds, including with the president of Turkey, will help ensure security in the region and normalize the situation in Karabakh after what has happened," he told journalists when asked about expectations for today’s meeting between Aliyev and Erdogan.
"These are sovereign countries and they are exercising their sovereign right to develop cooperative relations; we know that Baku and Ankara have very close relations," Peskov said, adding that Moscow has "relations that are no less close with both Ankara and Baku."
The Turkish presidential office said earlier that Erdogan and Aliyev will take part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ygdir-Nakhichevan gas pipeline on September 25. Talks between the two leaders are expected to focus on bilateral relations, as well as on pressing regional and global problems, including the recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh.