Russian Presidenz Putin hosts leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan for talks in Sochi


Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev (left), Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) and Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (right) during a summit in Sochi in November 2021. — courtesy Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo
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Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to help broker an agreement after recent violent armed clashes.

Putin’s talks with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will be held at the Russian leader’s Black Sea residence in Sochi on Monday.

The negotiations reflect an attempt by the Kremlin to shore up its influence in the region.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a decades-old conflict over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The enclave is part of Azerbaijan but had been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces since a separatist war ended in 1994.

During a six-week war in 2020, Azerbaijan reclaimed parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent territories.

More than 6,500 people died in the fighting, which ended with a Russian-brokered peace agreement. Moscow deployed around 2,000 troops to the region to serve as peacekeepers.

Fresh clashes then broke out at the border in September, with at least 286 people from both sides killed in two days.

The Kremlin said the leaders would discuss the implementation of the 2020 peace deal and “further steps to enhance stability and security in the Caucasus.”

“Issues related to the restoration and development of trade and economic and transport links will also be discussed,” Moscow added.

The Russian-brokered talks come as Western leaders have taken a more active stance in mediating the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

European Council President Charles Michel and French President Emmanuel Macron organized talks between Pashinian and Aliyev in Brussels in August.

— Euronews