Sergey Shoigu supported Iran’s position on the latest developments in the Caucasus and criticized the presence of third countries in the region
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu during talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani reaffirmed the commitment to cooperation in the South Caucasus on the 3+3 platform, the Tasnim news agency reports.
Shoigu expressed solidarity with his counterpart in that the 3+3 platform was the best peace solution to the problems in the Caucasus region. The Russian defense minister also supported Iran’s position on the latest developments in the Caucasus and criticized the presence of third countries in the region.
For his part, Ashtiyani said that preserving the territorial integrity of the Caucasus region’s countries was an absolute must for Iran and a red line not to be trespassed. He also praised the successful experience of co-operation with Russia, including that in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East. The Iranian Defense Minister expressed the certainty that interaction between Iran and Russia in the military and defense spheres would make progress over time, as it fully met the interests of both sides.
The Russian and Iranian defense minsters were speaking against the backdrop of another flare-up of tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh that occurred on September 19. Baku announced it was launching what it described as “local anti-terrorist measures” and demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the region. Yerevan, in turn, said there were no Armenian forces in Karabakh, calling what was happening “an act of large-scale aggression.” Residents of the Armenian capital took to the streets to protest outside the Armenian government building, blaming the country’s leadership and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan for the situation.
On Wednesday, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced that an agreement had been reached with the participation of the Russian peacekeeping contingent on the suspension of anti-terrorist activities in Karabakh from 12:00 p.m. Moscow time on 20 September.