YEREVAN — Armenia will complete the withdrawal of all conscripts currently deployed in and around Karabakh by September, Armen Grigoryan, the head of Armenia’s Security Council, said Tuesday in an interview with Armenpress, the country’s state-run news agency.
“Due to the  war, a number of units of Armenia’s Armed Forces entered Nagorno-Karabakh to help its Defense Army,” Grigoryan said “They have been returning to the Republic of Armenia since the ceasefire took effect [in November 2020.]”
“This process is close to completion and will end in September,” he said. “As for the Defense Army, it has been in Nagorno-Karabakh and will remain there.”
Conscripts from Karabakh will continue serving in the army, and contract soldiers from both Armenia and Karabakh can continue serving in and around Karabakh if they so choose, he added.
Grigoryan downplayed security implications of the troop withdrawal, arguing that Karabakh will retain its armed forces and will also be protected by Russian peacekeeping forces deployed there following the 2020 war.
“The peacekeeping forces are of key importance in guaranteeing the security of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenians,” said the official.
The 2020 ceasefire, signed by Armenia and Azerbaijan and brokered by Russia, states that “the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is being deployed in parallel with the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces.”