Putin Meets With Armenia And Azerbaijan Leaders Over Ceasefire; Calls It ‘constructive’

Republic World
Nov 27 2021
Written By

Zaini Majeed

President of Russia Vladimir Putin on Friday brokered trilateral talks between President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, and Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan in Sochi on the anniversary of the signing of ceasefire and ending hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on November 9, 2020. The talks, according to the Russian government’s press statement, entailed the progress in implementing the earlier agreements between the two warring sides to establish peace and strengthen stability. The Russian leader also mediated the negotiations for the restoration and development of bilateral trade, economic, and transport links in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. After the crucial meeting, President Vladimir Putin, Ilham Aliyev, and Nikol Pashinyan issued an official statement about the outcome of the trilateral talks. 

“We reaffirmed our agreements on the ceasefire and restoring normal life later in January. A lot has been accomplished during this time. Unfortunately, not every issue have been settled yet," said Putin. 

Putin expressed regrets about the tragic military conflict that unleashed at the volatile border, as he lamented the casualties, adding that Russia would ensure that such incidents are avoided in the future. President Putin promised to return over 53,000 war-displaced civilians from the Nagorno-Karabakh back to their permanent place of residence. Furthermore, Putin assured that no large-scale hostilities will take place between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as he will dispatch a monitoring group to work collaboratively with a contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. 

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Russia and Turkey operate a joint centre in the Nagorno-Karabakh region that was opened to observe a ceasefire after last year’s flare-up of hostilities. The centre was officially established in November 2020 in the Agdam region of Azerbaijan with 60 servicemen each from Moscow and Ankara. Russia also created a trilateral commission at the level of deputy prime ministers of the governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moscow. 

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“It is not easy, but, nevertheless, this work is at an advanced stage, and there is reason to believe that we will soon be able to not only confirm the work of the corresponding group on unblocking transport links, but also make the appropriate decisions that everyone needs,” said Russian President Putin.

The revival of the conflict-ravaged region is at the center of the goal of the Russian efforts, Putin stressed, so that both the warring sides can engage in economic activity once again. Since Russia’s mediatory efforts, no serious incidents or deliberate provocations in the Nagorno-Karabakh region have been witnessed, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev told the conference in Moscow. The situation has remained stable in the zone of responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers. 

Tensions over the contended South Caucasus piece of land have worsened over the past several years with Armenia and Azerbaijan blaming each other over who instigates and flares the regional conflict.  While both the Transcaucasian countries have held 'substantive' talks brokered by Putin, reports of fresh clashes emerged just hours after a ceasefire came into force. Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia had signed an agreement to end the military conflict, and  Russia's defense ministry flew 1,960 Russian peacekeepers from an airbase at Ulyanovsk to be deployed on the front line to guard the Lachin corridor.  However, as early as last week, troops on both sides clashed violently on the Nagorno-Karabakh border resulting in 15 military casualties on the Armenian side and two from Azerbaijan.

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