Moscow, Russia – The Russian leader stressed that Azerbaijan is an independent sovereign state which has the right to choose its allies as it likes.

Turkey’s siding with Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be seen as a geopolitical consequence of the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

“As for Turkey, Turkey’s role, it is well known, it has been repeatedly said in Azerbaijan and the Turkish side has never made any secret of that: they have been unilaterally supporting Azerbaijan,” Putin said in an interview with the Russian media aired by the Rossiya-1 and Rossiya-24 television channels. “Well, what can I say? It is a geopolitical consequence of the collapse of the former Soviet Union.”

The Russian leader stressed that Azerbaijan is an independent sovereign state which has the right to choose its allies as it likes.

Russian President Putin Warns Armenia against backing out of Nagorno-Karabakh deal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the Armenian government against backing out of the Nagorno-Karabakh deal. While speaking about the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire in a televised interview, Putin said ‘it would be a huge mistake’ if a new government in the country reneged on the deal. Meanwhile, opposition forces in Armenia are protesting against the week-old truce and have called for the resignation of the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Putin said that a country that is at war or in danger of resuming hostilities, as it has always been in past years, cannot afford to behave in such a way as to divide society from within. He added that it is absolutely unacceptable, counterproductive and extremely dangerous, according to reports.

The new agreement gave Azerbaijan significant territorial concessions as a bloody six-week war, that resulted in the deaths of more than 2,300 Armenian servicemen, came to an end. Meanwhile, Pashniyan has taken responsibility for the loss of territory and said he signed the agreement to prevent further losses and save lives in the wake of Azerbaijan’s substantial military advances.

The Armenian Prime Minister further said he does not plan to step down and on Wednesday offered a government roadmap out of the crisis to ensure the democratic stability of the ravaged nation.

Pashinyan’s 15-point plan

Pashinyan’s 15-point plan includes help to those injured in the war, plans to return Armenian refugees to Nagorno-Karabakh, and intends to modernize the military. He has also called for the resumption of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) talks including Russia, France and the US on the final status of the region, which Armenians call Artsakh.

The ceasefire deal does not mention what will happen to Stepanakert, the region’s largest city, and other territories in Nagorno-Karabakh after a Russian peacekeeping deployment is scheduled to end in five years.

Meanwhile, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan resigned from office on Monday over the controversial deal. In addition to that, the Armenian security services last week said they had prevented an assassination plot against Pashinyan involving an opposition politician and a war veteran.

Azerbaijani troops enter Agdam district in accordance with trilateral agreement.

The trilateral statement was signed by Azerbaijan’s president, Russia’s president, and Armenia’s prime minister on November 20 2020.

Subdivisions of Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces entered the Agdam district on Friday, the press service of the republic’s Defense Ministry reported.

“According to the trilateral statement, signed by Azerbaijan’s President, Russia’s President, and Armenia’s Prime Minister, on November 20, units of the Azerbaijani army entered the Agdam district,” the statement said.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.

The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them.

On November 9 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10 2020. The Russian leader said the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides would maintain the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region. Besides, Azerbaijan and Armenia must exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed.