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Putin Says Security Guarantees Don’t Extend To Karabakh Region For Armenia

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Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists Wednesday that Russia’s security guarantees to Armenia do not extend to the Soviet ‘frozen conflict’ region of Nagarno-Karabakh.

“The obligations on security are as follows: if a CSTO member nation is subjected to aggression, an attack from outside, then the Treaty signatory nations have to protect this nation,” the spokesman said.

When asked in what case Russia would be ready to send its military to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area, Peskov underscored that “this is rooted in the obligations” under the CSTO.

“In this case, we are talking about Armenia; [Russian President Vladimir Putin] has made it perfectly clear and he differentiated between these two issues: the CSTO obligations do not cover Karabakh,” the spokesman said.

The CSTO is an international security organization, comprising six signatories: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. The CSTO aims to counter threats to security and stability and to protect territorial integrity and sovereignty of member states without meddling in their internal affairs, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

In his first public comments on the deadly conflict since it broke out on Sept. 27, Putin called the 10-day eruption of fighting a “tragedy” whose end is “still a long way off.” Russia has walked a thin line between ex-Soviet neighbors Yerevan and Baku, calling for a ceasefire in the latest flare-up but not publicly backing either side, reported The Moscow Times.

“People are dying, there are heavy losses on both sides and we hope that this conflict will end as soon as possible,” Putin told state television in an interview. 

“We have certain obligations as part of this treaty,” Putin told the Rossia 24 broadcaster. “Russia has always honored and will continue to honor its commitments.” 

“It is deeply regrettable that the hostilities continue, but they are not taking place on Armenian territory,” Putin said.

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