Russia is ready to facilitate the safe return of Karabakh Armenians to the region if they wish, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin told TASS.
"Unfortunately, the majority of Karabakh Armenians left the region. It was their hard but voluntary choice. In this regard, it is important to create conditions for the return of those who want to do so, with proper provision of their rights and security," he said.
"We are ready to provide all possible assistance to this process, including through the Russian peacekeeping contingent, whose presence is of great importance," Galuzin said.
According to the deputy foreign minister, "thanks to Russian efforts, including at the cost of the lives of six of our peacekeepers, significant civilian casualties were avoided" during the Azerbaijani aggression in September 2023.
"With the active mediation of the Russian peacekeeping contingent on September 20, 2023, an agreement was reached on the cessation of hostilities and negotiations were held between representatives of the Armenian population of Karabakh and the Azerbaijani authorities. Our peacekeepers provided shelter for civilians, delivered humanitarian aid, organized medical evacuation," he said.
At the same time, Galuzin said that "the mentioned events did not happen out of thin air: the Armenian side recognized the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including Karabakh as part of it, as early as at the summit under the auspices of the EU in October 2022 in Prague."
"At the same time, the issue of ensuring the rights and security of the Armenian population of the region was not resolved then. Now Karabakh is being integrated into the legal field of Azerbaijan," he said.