The Kremlin said on Monday that the leaders of Russia and Azerbaijan, as well as the premier of Armenia, will not hold a trilateral meeting at a two-day informal summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) held in St. Petersburg.
"No, there will be no trilateral meeting, but bilateral contacts, of course, will take place on the sidelines of this informal meeting (Monday and Tuesday)," Peskov told reporters in a weekly briefing.
Peskov's comments came days after the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that a trilateral foreign ministers meeting between Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia would not take place due to Armenia's refusal to participate.
In a phone call, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed "with regret" his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov about Armenia's decision, according to a ministry statement on Thursday.
A day later, Lavrov said, prior to a meeting with Bayramov on Friday in Moscow, that Armenia refused to participate, "citing the situation on the ground."
Azerbaijani non-governmental organizations at the Lachin corridor -- a route connecting Armenia to Karabakh -- have been protesting the “illegal exploitation of natural resources” and other illegal activities by Armenia, but they have not “closed” or blocked the corridor, according to Azerbaijan.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, in 44 days of clashes, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation. The Russian-brokered peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.
Russian, Chinese leaders to communicate before New Year
During the briefing, Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to communicate with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the New Year, adding that the Kremlin will announce the format in a "timely manner."
"Indeed, such a contact is planned, we will inform you (reporters) in due time together with our Chinese friends," Peskov noted.
Peskov also said Putin does not yet plan to have a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Peskov further noted that Putin also does not plan to congratulate US President Joe Biden on the New Year, based on that "there is no time for congratulations" at the current level of bilateral relations between the two countries.
“Not now, now we have gone so deep into mutual hostility that, probably, there is no time for congratulations,” Peskov said.