Top Azerbaijani, Russian lawmakers discuss bilateral relations, situation in Karabakh

Top lawmakers of Azerbaijan and Russia on Tuesday discussed bilateral relations between Baku and Moscow, as well as the current situation in the Karabakh region during a meeting in the Russian capital.

“She (Chair of the Federation Council of Russia Valentina Matvienko) spoke of the relations being on the rise in all the areas covered, of the bilateral agenda being defined by the heads of our states and about also our relations’ advancement with reliance upon good neighborliness and mutual understanding,” Azerbaijan’s National Assembly said in a statement.

Noting that inter-parliamentary talks between herself and the visiting Chair of Azerbaijan’s National Assembly Sahiba Gafarova have become “a fine tradition,” Matvienko said the signing of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the National Assembly and the Russian State Duma on Monday will kickstart a new phase in inter-legislative interaction.

For her part, Gafarova said both her visit, which began on Monday, and the memorandum of understanding signed on Monday are going to “contribute to the progress of cooperation in the inter-parliamentary dimension in their own special way.”

According to the statement, Gafarova also touched on peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia, noting that Yerevan remains subversive to the negotiations and not only has not yet cleared all the Azerbaijani territories, in open defiance of the requirements of the (2020) Trilateral Statement, but is also obstructing the reopening of all the economic ties and transport arteries of the region.”

Gafarova added that allegations made by Armenia on the Lachin road, connecting Yerevan to the Karabakh region, being obstructed by Azerbaijani environmentalists are false, saying that Armenia has previously been "using and abusing the Lachin road to carry land mines, ammunition and military personnel."

“The protests against illegal economic activities in the areas of temporary deployment of the Russian peace-keeping contingent within the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan as well as against the exploitation of natural reserves and abuse of the Lachin road are an exercise of the lawful right of Azerbaijani citizens to do so,” Gafarova said, according to the statement.

Since Dec. 12, Azerbaijani ecologists representing nongovernmental organizations had been protesting Armenia's illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Karabakh region, where Russian peacekeepers have been stationed since the end of the fall 2020 conflict and a January 2021 pact with Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

In the fall of 2020, in 44 days of clashes, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages and settlements from Armenian occupation. The Russian-brokered peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.

Source: Anadolu Agency