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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Working hard to resolve Armenia-Azerbaijan dispute, says Russia

World NewsWorking hard to resolve Armenia-Azerbaijan dispute, says Russia

Reuters | , Posted by Shobhat Gupta.

Russia said on Tuesday it was working hard to resolve the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Armenia to the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

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The mountain pass has been blocked across Azerbaijan since December 12, when protesters claiming to be environmental activists set up tents and stopped traffic. About 120,000 ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh depend on it for food, fuel and medicine supplies.

The standoff has sparked international concern, with US Secretary of State Anthony Blanken calling for an immediate reopening of the route on Monday.

Russia is the largest power broker in the region and its peacekeeping forces are stationed along the Lachen Corridor. Their failure to reopen it is a disappointment for Armenia.

Asked to comment on Blanken’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia continues to work hard with both Armenia and Azerbaijan. He did not elaborate.

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Armenia says the protests were staged by the Azerbaijani government as a deliberate blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan denied this, saying the workers were staging a legitimate protest against illegal mining activities.

The two countries have fought two wars since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is inhabited mainly by ethnic Armenians.

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