March 31
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The EU mission stationed on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is a conductor of the EU's common security and defense policy, not a civilian one, Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mikhail Bocharnikov said in an interview with

"There is no reason to bring an extra-regional factor to the South Caucasus. And that is what the EU is trying to do, very clumsily, without consulting Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan refuses to discuss it - Ed.). Of course, the EU looks like a direct appendage of the United States and NATO, which considers the CIS space as a zone of confrontation with Russia and tries to bring a geopolitical component into the regional situation.

In principle, such actions are aimed at forcing Russia out of the process of Azerbaijani-Armenian normalization. Don't be deceived by the term "civil mission". You said yourself that there are reasons to assume that it will not be exactly civil. I have heard, or at least there was talk that French gendarmes will be included in this mission. Then the mission itself is a vehicle for a common EU security and defense policy, not a civilian one. The possibility that it could develop into a kind of presence with possible military components, and the possibility that the mission would start looking into Karabakh territory, which would be a violation of the mandate, makes us say that there are risks. If there are attempts to expand the mission's presence into Karabakh territory, they could lead to problems for Russian peacekeepers and border guards. This kind of problem is a risk for the security of the whole region, the whole South Caucasus," the ambassador said.

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