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Russia has security obligations to Armenia, not Nagorno-Karabakh: Putin

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In a major setback to Armenia in fight over Nagorno-Karaback, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kremllin said Wednesday that the Armenia-Azerbaijan military conflict was not taking place in the Armenian lands.

Russia may stand up for Armenia under its Collective Security Treaty obligations, but these obligations do not cover the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists Wednesday.

"The obligations on security are as follows: if a CSTO member nation is subjected to aggression, an attack from outside, then the Treaty signatory nations have to protect this nation," Tass news agency quoted the spokesman as saying.

When asked in what case Russia would be ready to send its military to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area, Peskov underscored that "this is rooted in the obligations" under the CSTO.

"In this case, we are talking about Armenia; [Russian President Vladimir Putin] has made it perfectly clear and he differentiated between these two issues: the CSTO obligations do not cover Karabakh," the spokesman said.

Tass also quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying that the Armenian authorities raised no question regarding Russia's compliance with the CSTO obligations. Putin recalled that Russia has obligations before Armenia - a CSTO member state - and noted that the hostilities do not take place on Armenian territory.

The CSTO is an international security organization, comprising six signatories: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. The CSTO aims to counter threats to security and stability and to protect territorial integrity and sovereignty of member states without meddling in their internal affairs.

Dispute over Karabakh must not spill over: Aliyev

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh must not be allowed to spill over the boundaries of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan's President Ilkham Aliyev said in an interview on Russian television Wednesday.

He stressed that the conflict had not yet spread beyond the territory of Armenia. "Even despite artillery bombardments from the Armenian territory we do not make any strikes against Armenia. Nor do we venture into Armenian territory, although we have the capabilities for this," Aliyev said.

He pointed out that Armenia was trying to involve European countries and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) into the Karabakh dispute.

"The Armenian side is trying to internationalize this conflict. We argue that such an attitude is impermissible," he said.

French Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh to fight Azerbaijan

Scores of Armenians living in France have arrived in the illegally occupied Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh to fight alongside Yerevan forces, French media reported Wednesday.

"Armenians from France are starting to arrive in Armenia to fight the Azerbaijani army on the Nagorno-Karabakh front," Georges Malbrunot, a senior reporter of French newspaper Le Figaro said in a tweet.

"An AFP dispatch dated from Yerevan recounts the journey of one of them, who came from Strasbourg," he said, citing a reporter of the French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP).

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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