WASHINGTON, DC — During an April 17 press briefing in Washington, Vedant Patel, principal deputy spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, was asked by a reporter to comment on reports that “Russians have started moving their forces out of Azerbaijan and to be deployed in Ukraine” as well as on the implications of the move for the South Caucasus and beyond.

Patel reminded that the United States was not party to the negotiated trilateral arrangement that ended the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 and established Russian troops in that region.

“Frankly, we’ve not seen anything to indicate that Russia’s military was contributing to a more peaceful and stable South Caucasus region, and the events in Nagorno-Karabakh over the course of this past fall are pretty indicative of that point, and it’s another highlight or example of how Russia is not a trustworthy ally or partner,” he said.

“Beyond that, we strongly support efforts by Armenia and Azerbaijan to reach a durable and dignified peace, and we stand ready to continue to help facilitate this process,” the Department of State official added.

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