The Kremlin said that Moscow is closely monitoring developments regarding the possible construction of a Turkish military base in Azerbaijan, after the “Shusha Declaration” between Turkey and Azerbaijan last Tuesday.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is in intensive contact with Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), about stabilizing the South Caucasus, where the Turkish-backed Azerbaijani army has expelled Armenian forces from sections of the territory it has controlled since the 1990s. In the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its surroundings.
The spokesman said that the deployment of NATO countries with military infrastructure near the Russian borders is of particular interest to Moscow, “which is also a reason for us to take steps to ensure our security and interests.”
Russian peacekeepers are stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh after last year’s conflict, and Moscow has a sugar base in neighboring Armenia.
Azerbaijani Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed an agreement last Tuesday in the city of Shusha in the Karabakh region, after its liberation from the 100-year-old control of Armenian forces.
President Aliyev said that relations between his country and Turkey reached their highest level with the Shusha Declaration, stressing that this declaration is related to cooperation in politics, economy, trade and energy.
“But most important of all is the cooperation agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkey in the field of defense industry and mutual military assistance,” Aliyev added at a press conference with his Turkish counterpart.
Erdogan was quoted by the NTV channel on Thursday as not ruling out the establishment of a Turkish military base in Azerbaijan.
“There may be an evolution and expansion here at a later time,” he added.
On September 27, the Azerbaijani army launched an operation to liberate its occupied lands in the Karabakh region, after an attack by the Armenian army on populated civilian areas.
After fierce battles that lasted 44 days, Russia announced on November 10, 2020, that Azerbaijan and Armenia reached a ceasefire agreement, providing for Baku to regain control of provinces.