Lavrov: Lachin movement should be through Russian peacekeepers, checkpoints "not envisaged"

Speaking in a press conference following a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov on Tuesday (28 February), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that free movement along the Lachin Corridor connecting Armenia with the Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh should be "first of all through the Russian peacekeeping contingent".

"[The Lachin corridor] functioning mode must be in full compliance with the 9-10 November 2020 trilateral statement, which means the need to ensure the free movement of exclusively civilian and humanitarian cargo and civilians. That’s what we are striving for, first of all through the Russian peacekeeping contingent," Lavrov said.

Free movement along the Lachin Corridor has been hindered since 12 December last year when self-proclaimed Azerbaijani eco-activists have staged a protest against alleged Armenian exploitation of natural resources in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia denies the claim.

Checkpoints on Armenia-Azerbaijan border had been proposed by Baku, but rejected by Yerevan and "not envisaged" by Moscow

Following a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on 18 February, Azerbaijani President Aliyev floated the idea of installing checkpoints on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

Speaking about border delimitation between the two countries, Aliyev said, "it is only possible to achieve with checkpoints. Suppose we are talking about the opening of communications, of course. In that case, checkpoints should be established at both ends of the Zangezur corridor and the border between the Lachin district and Armenia."

This proposal was then rejected by Armenian Foreign Minister Armen Mirzoyan, who later in a press conference said, "the regulations around the Lachin corridor have been negotiated and signed," referring to the 9 November trilateral declaration that ended the 2020 Karabakh war and allowed for the provision of the Russian peacekeeping contingent. "Renegotiating the Lachin Corridor is unacceptable to us," said Mirzoyan.

Speaking today in Baku, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that "it is not envisaged to create any checkpoints there."

source: with agencies
photo: AzerNews