Putin To Visit Armenia Early Next Year

Agence France Presse
Aug 20 2004

Putin To Visit Armenia Early Next Year

MOSCOW, Aug 20 (AFP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will
visit his Armenian counterpart, Robert Kocharian, in Armenia early
next year and has renewed offers to mediate the decade-old conflict
in Nagorny Karabakh, the Russian media reported Friday.

Russia is ready to act as a “mediator and guarantor” of a negotiated
settlement in Nagorny Karabakh, an ethnically Armenian enclave of
Azerbaijan, Putin said according to Russian news service Interfax.

A 1994 ceasefire after a bloody four-year conflict left Armenian
forces in control of the enclave and surrounding Azeri regions.
Azerbaijan has said it is determined to force Armenian troops out of
the territory.

Along with France and the United States, Russia is part of the
so-called Minsk Group seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict.

No specific date was set for Putin’s trip.