Path to Azerbaijan-Armenia peace lies in trilateral deals: Putin

Both sides must strictly comply with provisions of trilateral agreements signed in past 2 years, says Russian president.

Path to Azerbaijan-Armenia peace lies in trilateral deals: Putin

Russia is doing everything possible for lasting peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, emphasizing that the way forward lies in the trilateral agreements signed by the three countries in 2020 and 2021.

“Without a doubt, the only possible and realistic path to peace is through strict compliance by the parties with all the provisions of the well-known joint statements of the leaders of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan,” Putin said at an extraordinary meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization called on Armenia’s request.

Moscow brokered the deal that ended the 2020 conflict between the two countries, who have had tense relations since 1991, when Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

Russia has since maintained a central position in efforts to iron out a comprehensive agreement to resolve the former Soviet Republics’ longstanding differences.

Putin said it is imperative to ensure “consistent implementation of agreements on the ways of delimiting the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, unblocking transport communications, and resolving humanitarian issues.”

That is the only way to achieve stability and normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, he underlined.

Acknowledging that current conditions are “rather difficult,” he said Russia is “still doing everything possible” for normalization between Baku and Yerevan.

The issue is coming up with solutions that will pave the way for a peace treaty in the future, Putin added, reaffirming Russia’s desire for peace and development in the South Caucasus.

After months of relative calm, fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia suddenly picked up last month, with nearly 300 lives lost in the worst flare-up since 2020.

Attempts by Western powers, including the US and EU, to take up a role in peace efforts have drawn a strong response from Russia.

Moscow has condemned the West for what it called a “brusque and impudent approach,” accusing the US and EU of ignoring regional realities and sensitivities.

Washington and Brussels are not interested in “balanced solutions, but self-promotion and squeezing Russia out of Transcaucasia,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier this week.

Putin is scheduled to host Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan for talks in Sochi next Monday, the trio’s first meeting since last November.

Ahead of the highly anticipated talks, Pashinyan told Armenian lawmakers this week that he wants to finalize a peace deal with Baku before the end of the year.