On Thursday, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin to express his condolences regarding the tragic loss of Russian peacekeepers in the Karabakh region.
“Ilham Aliyev apologized and expressed his deep condolences over the tragic death of servicemen of the Russian peacekeeping contingent (RPC) in Karabakh on Sept. 20. It was stressed that the most thorough investigation of what happened will be carried out and all the perpetrators will be duly punished,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
The prosecutor general’s offices of the two countries are in close contact over the issue.
The Azerbaijani president also expressed readiness to provide financial assistance to the families of the victims.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday a vehicle transporting Russian peacekeepers came under fire while returning from an observation post near the village of Janyatag. All of them died.
Azerbaijani and Russian representatives are working on the spot to establish the circumstances of the incident, the ministry said.
The Armenian military had occupied Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions, in 1991.
In the fall of 2020, Baku liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The war ended with a Russia-brokered cease-fire, and talks for normalization of ties began.
Azerbaijan on Wednesday suspended its counter-terrorism measures in Karabakh, a day after they were launched to disarm and achieve withdrawal of Armenian forces, and uphold the 2020 trilateral peace agreement.
Aliyev and Putin marked the importance of the implementation of the Karabakh cease-fire agreements, and emphasized the importance of the talks between Azerbaijani authorities and representatives of the Armenian community in the region.
The two leaders discussed priority steps aimed at further stabilization and resolution of humanitarian problems in the region.
“Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of ensuring the rights and security of the Armenian population of Karabakh. The readiness of the Azerbaijani side to cooperate with Russian peacekeepers on these issues was confirmed,” the statement said.
Putin and Aliyev also agreed to intensify talks on issues of unblocking transport links, delimitation of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and preparation of a peace treaty between Baku and Yerevan.