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July 31
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Of course, Russia was in an extremely sensitive situation during the [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict; on the one hand, Russia is Armenia’s military-political ally, and on the other hand, it is a mediator and a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, which implies equal distance from the sides to a certain extent. Robert Kocharyan—the second President, leader of the "Armenia" bloc which will run in Sunday’s snap parliamentary elections, and its candidate for prime minister—said this in an interview with Russian media when asked how he would assess Russia’s actions during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the actions of Russian peacekeepers today.

“Russia is also Azerbaijan’s neighbor. Moscow is trying to build friendly ties with Baku. It’s a very complicated situation. Armenia’s expectations were different from what Russia could have done. From the perspective of Russia’s interests, the only right thing that Russia could have done was to stop the war as soon as possible, and it tried to do this right from the start of the conflict. The fact that there haven’t been major clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh to this day (there have been some insignificant incidents) reminds us that the sides acknowledge the Russian peacekeeping mission with respect. This is the whole picture, but the mandate of the peacekeepers is limited (5 years), and this is the biggest problem,” Kocharyan said.

Asked if he believes there should be a certain document, the second President of Armenia clarified by saying that it would be better, if the mandate was termless. “After four-and-a-half years, Azerbaijan has the right to inform Russia that it is against continuity of the peacekeepers’ mandate, and Russia will have to leave the territory. There is so much uncertainty that people and the governments of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are unable to plan their future,” he added.

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