Russia regularly discusses the issue of preserving the cultural and historical heritage in Karabakh and surrounding districts with official Baku and Yerevan, the Spokesperson for the country’s Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said at a briefing.
Zakharova stated that this issue had been touched upon during the working visits of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Armenia and Azerbaijan in the first half of May.
"We support the earliest possible organization of a UNESCO mission to the region and work with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. A statement adopted by the co-chairs on April 13 of this year indicates that the preservation and protection of religious and cultural heritage are among the issues that require additional efforts from Armenia and Azerbaijan," she noted.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
Following over a month of military action to liberate its territories from Armenian occupation from late Sept. to early Nov. 2020, Azerbaijan has pushed Armenia to sign the surrender document. A joint statement on the matter was made by the Azerbaijani president, Armenia's PM, and the president of Russia.
A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were introduced on Nov. 10, 2020.
Following the liberation of its lands, Azerbaijan from Nov. 2020 started carrying out operations on clearing its lands from mines, booby traps, and various weapons left behind by the Armenian troops.