Russia, Vladimir Putin

Russia has no obligation to defend Armenia, warns Putin

Russian president says that the defence agreement with Armenia does not apply to the conflict with Azerbaijan about Karabakh.

Russia does not have the obligation to defend Armenia in the current conflict with Azerbaijan despite the fact that both countries have a defence agreement, Vladimir Putin has declared, since the fighting is not taking place on Armenian territory but in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, which is officially part of Azerbaijan despite being under Armenian occupation since the 1990s.

During an interview with Russian public television, Putin reiterated the call made by Moscow – which also maintains close relations with Azerbaijan – for an immediate ceasefire between the two neighbouring countries of the South Caucasus, adding that what is happening in the region is a tragedy about which the Kremlin is deeply concerned.

According to Russian official agencies, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had a telephone conversation with Putin himself about the latest events around the Karabakh region, where the worst fighting hast started since the end of the bloody war that it faced in the 1990s between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which ended in a fragile ceasefire and the occupation of Karabakh and several adjacent territories.

The so-called Republic of Artsakh would be founded in these occupied territories, not recognised by any country and constituted de facto as a puppet state of Armenia, on which it depends politically and economically. Several resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and other international organisations have since demanded the withdrawal of the Armenian forces from Karabakh.

In the last few days the government of Armenia has warned that if the conflict persists, it will resort to recognizing the Republic of Artsakh as an independent state; Yerevan also accuses Turkey of actively participating in the conflict and has repeatedly called for Russia’s involvement by appealing to the defence agreement signed with Moscow. For its part, Azerbaijan claims to have evidence that Armenia is sending members of the PKK terrorist group to Karabakh to fight.