Putin comments on Turkey's role in Karabakh issue

Putin comments on Turkey's role in Karabakh issue

Turkey did not violate international law by supporting Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

Baku was reclaiming its own territories and was within its rights to choose any advisers, including Turkey, Putin said in an interview with Russia 24 news channel.

"Turkey’s actions in the Karabakh issue may be qualified in whatever way, but it [Turkey] can’t be accused of violating any international law," he said.

He pointed out that Turkey was a member of the Minsk Group on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement from the very beginning but was never granted a co-chair status.

Putin admitted that Russia and Turkey often have different positions but have been able to reach compromises through diplomatic means.

Many countries, including ones in Europe, fought many times in the past, such as France and Germany, but it does not prevent them from cooperating today, and the same holds true for Russia and Turkey, he said.

Putin praised the US and France for their role in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, saying the Minsk group co-chairs have no reason to be offended over not being involved in the final agreements.

He said they could not be included because the fall of Karabakh was a matter of hours and demanded urgent steps, leaving no time for additional consultations in the framework of the Minsk group.

Commenting on the recent unrest in Yerevan and a possible power shift, Putin said the present situation calls for Armenia to consolidate itself and not fall apart.

On the possibility that a future Armenian leader may retract from the Karabakh agreements, the Russian president said such a decision would prove suicidal, Anadolu Agency reported.

On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Russian leader said the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides would remain on the positions they hold and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region. Besides, Armenia and Azerbaijan should carry out the exchange of prisoners of war and the bodies of those killed. Aghdam region will be returned to Azerbaijan before November 20, Kelbajar region - before November 15, Lachin region - before December 1.

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