The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, said that the Russian peacekeeping contingent deployed in Artsakh will leave the region in 2025 – five years after it was first deployed in 2020.
Under the Trilateral Statement signed by the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan to end the 2020 war in Artsakh, the Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed for a period of five years. If one of the parties announces its intention to complete the mission six months before the end of this period, it will not be extended.
Almost a month after Azerbaijan’s closure of the Lachin Corridor connecting Artsakh to Armenia and the world, on January 10, Aliyev stated that “he is ready to provide those living in Artsakh with all the security and rights that are granted to the citizens of Azerbaijan, under the flag of Azerbaijan. And whoever does not want to become a citizen of Azerbaijan, the Lachin Corridor is open; they can leave, and no one will prevent that”.
Aliyev also mentioned that the year 2023 is the last chance for Armenia to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan. “This is the last opportunity, because in 2025 the mission of Russian peacekeepers will end. The Armenians should look a little further”, he concluded.