The Commitments of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of six former Soviet states, does not apply to the Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is Azerbaijani territory, Russia's presidential spokesperson said Wednesday.
Responding to a question on the possibility of Russia sending troops to the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Dmitry Peskov said: "If a CSTO member country is exposed to some aggression, attack from the outside, in this case, the member states of the treaty have commitments to stand up for such a state."
Reminding Russian President Vladimir Putin's statements on the issue, Peskov added: "In this case, we are talking about Armenia. The president has clearly and wholly clarified this and delimited these two issues."
Earlier, Putin said that the Armenia-Azerbaijan military conflict was not taking place on Armenian territory.
"To our great regret, the hostilities continue to this day, and they are not being conducted on the territory of Armenia," Putin told in his interview to local Rossiya 24 channel.
"This is a tragedy. We are very worried, because Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are all territories where people are not strangers to us," he added.
The CSTO is a Russia-led military alliance that was signed in 2002 by six former Soviet states, namely Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Russia also has a military base in Armenia.
Relations between Yerevan and Baku have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, but international calls for a halt to fighting have gone unanswered. Armenia has continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, who are the rightful owners of the occupied region.
The Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia and the U.S. – was set up in 1992 by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire was agreed upon in 1994.
Turkey has condemned the Armenian occupation and vowed support for Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has said Turkey must be involved in the process to resolve the decadeslong conflict.