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July 16
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The latest events in Nagorno-Karabakh became an inevitable consequence of the meetings in Prague and Brussels. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club, adding that Armenia officially recognized Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan and Russia could not do anything in about it.

“In Prague in the fall of 2022, under the auspices of the head of the European Council Charles Michel, with the participation of the President of France and the Chancellor of Germany, gathered the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

And there they signed a statement, do you understand? ... A statement from which it follows that Armenia recognizes Karabakh as part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Moreover, the leaders of Armenia directly named the territory of Azerbaijan in square kilometers, which certainly includes Karabakh, and emphasized that they recognize the sovereignty of Azerbaijan within the framework of the Azerbaijan SSR, which at one time was part of the USSR. And as you know, Karabakh was also part of the Azerbaijan SSR.

That is, in essence, the main, absolutely key issue about the status of Karabakh was resolved. When Karabakh declared its independence, no one recognized this independence, not even Armenia. Which, frankly, is strange to me. However, this was the decision; they did not recognize the independence of Karabakh. But here in Prague they recognized that Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan. And then at the beginning of 2023 they repeated the same thing a second time at a similar meeting in Brussels...

By the way, no one told us about this. I personally learned about this from the press. Azerbaijan has always considered Karabakh part of its territory. But by defining the status of Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, Armenia made qualitative changes in its position. After this, at one of the meetings, President Aliyev came up to me and said: “You see, everyone recognized that Karabakh is ours. Your peacekeepers are there on our territory”...You see, even the status of our peacekeepers has undergone qualitative changes after the status of Karabakh was determined as part of Azerbaijan.

He (Aliyev – ed.) says, your military is on our territory, let’s decide on a bilateral basis. Well, Prime Minister Pashinyan confirmed: “Yes, you now need to negotiate on a bilateral basis.” That is, Karabakh is gone. You can say whatever you want about the status of Karabakh. But this was the key question of the status of Karabakh, everything revolved around this for decades: how, when, who will determine its status. All! Armenia decided it – Karabakh officially became part of Azerbaijan. This is the position of the modern Armenian state. Well, what should we do?...

Everything that happened in the recent past, and the blocking of the Lachin corridor, etc. All this was inevitable after the recognition of Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Karabakh. It was a matter of time - when and in what way Azerbaijan would establish constitutional order there within the framework of its constitution. Well, what can we say? How else to react to this? Armenia recognized, but what should we do, say no, we don’t recognize? Well, this is nonsense...

I won’t tell you now, I think it would be incorrect to report the subtleties of our discussions, but what happened in recent days and weeks was an inevitable consequence of what was done in Prague and Brussels. Therefore, Mr. Michel and his colleagues should have thought then, when, apparently, I don’t know exactly, they persuaded the Prime Minister of Armenia to take such a step... they should have all thought together about the fate of the Armenians of Karabakh, they should have, well, at least something write down what awaits them in this situation, some kind of procedure for the integration of Karabakh into Azerbaijan, some kind of procedure for ensuring security and respect for their rights... But there is nothing of this there. There is only a statement that Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan. All! And what should we do if Armenia itself has decided so?” Putin noted.

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