17 Nov 2020 22:31

Putin hopes he managed to convince Ankara, Baku not to provoke Yerevan with Turkish peacekeepers in Karabakh

MOSCOW. Nov 17 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin believes he has managed to convince Ankara and Baku not to provoke Yerevan with the presence of the Turkish military along the contact line and to avoid provocations.

"As to the peacekeeping mission, indeed both Azerbaijan and Turkey have always spoken about the possibility of Turkey participating in peacekeeping operations," Putin said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

"It seems that I've managed to convince our Turkish partners, our colleagues in Azerbaijan not to create the conditions or prerequisites for the destruction of our agreements, conditions that would provoke one of the agreeing parties to take extreme measures and extreme actions," he said.

Putin said he means "the hard legacy of the past years and things related to the tragic bloody events of WWI, the genocide."

"This is a factor that can be recognized or not recognized. Some recognize it, and some in the world don't, but there's no problem for Russia here, as we recognized everything a long time ago - but why provoke the Armenian side with the presence of Turkish troops along the contact line? It seems to me that [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan understood this well and accepted it," he said.

"We had no problems here. We reached an agreement that Turkey at Azerbaijan's request will participate in controlling the observation of the ceasefire. We're doing this together with Turkey, meaning that we have a very good experience of interaction in the Middle East, in particular in Syria, where we carried out joint patrols and convoys both in the Idlib zone and along the Syrian-Turkish border," Putin said.

"We don't need such interaction here, but we agreed to create a joint center which will use unmanned aerial vehicles, we will together control the situation along the division line using these unmanned aerial vehicles, we will gather information together, we will analyze it together, and subsequently draw conclusions about what is happening in reality," he said.

"Where it will be placed is a different issue. Apparently, it will be on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan is entitled to independently make a decision on where it considers it feasible to deploy it," Putin said.