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Russian 'peacekeepers' complete withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan says

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 12, 2024 2:51 PM 2 min read
The withdrawal of the Russian "peacekeeping" contingent from Nagorno-Karabakh concluded on June 12, 2024, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said. (Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry)
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The withdrawal of a Russian "peacekeeping" contingent from Nagorno-Karabakh concluded on June 12, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said.

Several thousand Russian "peacekeepers" were deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh in the fall of 2020 following an escalation of the years-long Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the region.

Nagorno-Karabakh has been de facto controlled by unrecognized ethnic Armenian authorities since the first war in the early 1990s but was internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory.

The withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers began in April, several months after Azerbaijan captured the region in a military offensive in September 2023.

"The personnel, weapons, and equipment of the peacekeeping contingent have completely left our territory," the Azerbaijani ministry said.

Armenia has experienced heightened tensions with Russia after the Russian "peacekeepers" did nothing to prevent Azerbaijan's September offensive. The campaign ended in less than 24 hours with Azerbaijan's victory and the dissolution of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

After Nagorno-Karabakh's surrender, around 100,000 Armenians, the majority of the population, left the region for Armenia.

In March, Armenia asked Russian "peacekeepers" stationed at Yerevan's international airport since the country's independence to leave.

Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan said in February that Armenia had "frozen" its participation in the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) because it failed to uphold its objectives regarding Armenia. Yerevan is also not planning to partake in the financing of the CSTO.

The CSTO did not intervene during Azerbaijan's 2023 offensive. Armenia is also considering applying for membership in the European Union, aiming to strengthen ties with Western countries amid growing tensions with Russia.

Moscow issues protest note to Yerevan after Armenian delegation visits Bucha
Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a note of protest to Yerevan after an Armenian delegation visited Bucha earlier in June, Russian state-run media outlet TASS reported on June 9.

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