Moscow, January 3: Over 130 refugees have returned to Nagorno-Karabakh under the supervision of Russian peacekeepers on the second day of year 2021, the Russian Ministry of Defense said on Saturday. Armenia and signed a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement on November 10 to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.
“Russian peacekeepers escorted yet another convoy with refugees returning to Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia. Today, buses have delivered over 130 refugees from Yerevan to Stepanakert,” the ministry said in a statement.
Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, recognized as an Azerbaijani territory, and seven adjacent regions.
Freah clashes erupted on Sept. 27, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from occupation.
A Russian peacekeeping detachment is stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh to conduct round-the-clock monitoring from 23 observation posts, aid the return of refugees, and provide humanitarian assistance following the November 9 ceasefire agreement signed by the leaders of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
Over the past two months, more than 47,000 refugees have returned to their place of permanent residence under the supervision of Russian peacekeepers, according to data provided by the ministry.
Hostilities broke out in the disputed region in late September and raged on for six weeks before the ceasefire came into force.
Azerbaijan’ defence ministry says its army units were attacked by “an illegal Armenian armed group” in Nagorno-Karabakh, killing one Azerbaijani serviceman and wounding another on December 28.
The ministry said the attack took place in the Khojavend region on Sunday afternoon and was thwarted, leaving all six attackers dead.