MOSCOW — The Russian foreign ministry, in a statement released on Thursday, has rejected criticism of its peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh for failing to prevent Azerbaijani aggressions.

Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Ivan Nechaev said that Russian peacekeepers are taking steps to stabilize the situation in the region and that Baku and Yerevan have repeatedly noted the important role of the Russian peacekeeping contingent.

“Russia is in constant contact with the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides both at the highest level and through the ministry of defense, the foreign ministry and other Russian departments,” Nechaev said.

During last week’s weekly cabinet meeting in Yerevan, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan strongly criticized the Russian peacekeeping operation in Nagorno-Karabakh following the most serious fighting along the line of contact that left at least two Armenian and one Azerbaijani soldiers dead.

Pashinyan urged Russia to do more to prevent further ceasefire violations, charging that Baku has been stepping up such violations despite the presence of Russian peacekeeping troops in the region.

“In these circumstances, it is becoming imperative to adjust details of the [Russian] peacekeeping operation in Nagorno-Karabakh,” Pashinyan said. “We expect that any attempt to cross the line of contact will be stopped by the peacekeeping troops of the Russian Federation.”

The representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that the situation around the Lachin corridor should be resolved in accordance with the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020.

“Point 6 of the statement stipulates that the plan for the construction of a new route through the Lachin corridor, which will ensure a link between Karabakh and Armenia, should be determined with the agreement of the parties in the next three years, with the subsequent redeployment of Russian peacekeeping troops to maintain the security of the route,” he said.

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