Azerbaijan: Russia Stopped Us From "Breaking Armenia's Resistance" in 2016
Russia intervened to stop Azerbaijan's advances in last year's conflict with Armenia, Azerbaijan's defense minister has said.
While some Russian behind-the-scenes role in stopping the fighting had been known, Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov provided some new details and suggested that Azerbaijan would have made more military advances if not for Moscow's involvement. Hasanov made the comments in an interview with RIA Novosti, his first-ever interview with foreign media.
Through its membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Russia-led security bloc, "Armenia has made other countries hostages to their provocations," Hasanov said. "They know that if no one intervenes in the situation, they wouldn't last for three days. This is what happened in April 2016. If they hadn't stopped us, the resistance would have been broken. In 40 minutes we ran over the lines of defense that the enemy had been building for many years." The fighting last April was the worst since the two sides signed a ceasefire in 1994, killing at least 200 people and further hardening the distrust on both sides.
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