Vladimir Putin to CIS: Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh

Vladimir Putin to CIS: Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh

Russian peacekeepers stand as guarantors of the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday at a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States).

"The Russian peacekeepers stand as guarantors of the established ceasefire. We are providing assistance by delivering humanitarian cargo and carrying out mine clearance, and, I want to emphasize, [we are helping] both sides. In Azerbaijan, as well as in Armenia, life support systems are being restored, medical assistance is being provided to the population, tens of thousands of refugees, over 52,000 people, have returned to their homes," Putin noted.

The Russian president pointed out that the CIS countries sometimes face disagreements and contradictions. "And it is bad when these contradictions result in sharp conflicts between CIS member states as it, unfortunately, happened last year in Nagorno-Karabakh," he stated. Putin also expressed gratitude to his CIS colleagues for appreciating Russia's contribution to resolving the conflict.

Furthermore, Putin said that Russia upheld the draft statement, prepared on Belarus’ initiative amid the 30th anniversary of the CIS, which took stock of the main results of the organization's activities and defined some long-term tasks for its further development. "Indeed, over three decades, the CIS has come a long way, establishing itself as an authoritative regional integration association, where the member states strive to build relations on the principles of good-neighborliness, partnership, mutual benefit and consideration of each other’s interests," the Russian leader stressed.

The president commented on the situation around Karabakh with the saying "a bad peace is better than a good war".

However, according to the president, the crucial thing is that the member states "have managed to preserve, and in some ways, to enhance the economic, social, cultural and humanitarian ties, which have been accumulated over many years of living in a single state," Putin concluded.