Russian, Armenian leaders welcome Turkish-Armenian normalization

Putin, Pashinyan welcome normalization process of Armenian and Turkish relations, initiated with support of Russia, says joint statement.

Russian, Armenian leaders welcome Turkish-Armenian normalization

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday welcomed the normalization process initiated to mend ties between Turkiye and Armenia.

A joint statement issued following a meeting of the two leaders at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow also stressed the commitment of Russia and Armenia to develop bilateral relations.

"Putin and Pashinyan welcomed the normalization process of Armenian and Turkish relations, which was initiated with the support of Russia," it said.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the situation in the South Caucasus and expressed support for the continuation of constructive work within the framework of regular meetings of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia, said the joint statement.

It said Putin and Pashinyan also expressed their support for the consistent implementation of the agreements signed between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia on Nov. 9, 2020, Jan. 11, 2021 and Nov. 26, 2021 to ensure security and economic development.

They also emphasized that the humanitarian issues in the region should be resolved by diplomatic means, adding the potential of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Minsk Group should be used in this context.

Touching on the importance of the activities of the Tripartite Working Group chaired by the deputy prime ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan on the opening of economic and transport links in the South Caucasus, it said Russia is ready to take part in projects related to the reconstruction of railway infrastructure in Armenia.

The two sides also agreed to accelerate efforts to establish a commission on the determination of the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

In the meeting, Putin admitted that a lot of problems still exist that prevent the full restoration of peace in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Our focus will also be on security issues, including those related to Karabakh. There are still a lot of problems, I agree with you. We are in constant contact with you…If not every week, then every 10 days we definitely talk on the phone, and meetings are regular, despite the pandemic period," he noted.

Pashinyan praised Russia's role in ensuring peace and stability in the region and the work of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"I have to once again note your exceptional role in the cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020. After that, Russian peacekeepers operate in Nagorno-Karabakh. It should be noted that in general, of course, the activities of Russian peacekeepers ensure security. It seems that we need to see what can be done to make the activities of peacekeepers more effective," he said.

Pashinyan added that he would like to discuss the political aspects of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement with Putin.

Relations between the two ex-Soviet countries have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

New clashes erupted in September 2020, and a 44-day conflict saw Azerbaijan liberate several cities and over 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.

A tripartite agreement was brokered by Russia to bring an end to the war in November 2020.