Putin was optimistic about “normalization” after the tripartite summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope for the “normalization” of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which promised not to use force, after a tripartite summit aimed at confirming Moscow’s influence in the Caucasus. Sochi, a month after border clashes in southwestern Russia left 286 dead, is the worst loss since the 2020 war for control of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has been disputed between the two former Soviet republics since the 1990s. .
“In our general opinion, this was a very useful meeting and created a very good atmosphere for possible future agreements,” the Russian president confirmed at the end of the tripartite summit. “Russia, in turn, will do everything for the final and comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he assured and added: “The normalization of relations is in everyone’s interest.” “We will keep in touch and continue the dialogue. and Vladimir Putin promised to find the necessary solutions to end this conflict.
In the joint statement adopted at the end of the summit, Baku and Yerevan “will not use force”, including “they will resolve all disputes only on the basis of recognition of mutual sovereignty and territorial integration”. They also emphasized “the importance of active preparation for the conclusion of a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia in order to ensure sustainable and long-term peace in the region.”
After eight months of monopolization by an attack on Ukraine that embarrassed Moscow’s traditional partners, Mr. Putin wanted the summit to restore Russia’s traditional role as arbiter in the volatile region, where the West has led its own mediation efforts.
The Russian president first met privately with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The most important thing is to ensure peace and create conditions for development,” Putin told Pashinyan.
The Prime Minister of Armenia, in turn, emphasized that his priorities are the withdrawal of Russian peacekeeping forces from the territories where the soldiers of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan are located and the release of prisoners of war. The Russian president then received his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev and thanked him for “stimulating the normalization process”.
The fall 2020 war between Armenia and Azerbaijan left more than 6,500 dead on both sides and ended with Armenia’s military defeat and a Moscow-sponsored peace deal. As in September, despite the presence of Russian soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh and the recognized border between the two countries, occasional clashes continued. These Russian-sponsored talks coincide with a time when Western capitals are more actively involved in mediating the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Thus, the President of the Council of the European Union Charles Michel and the President of France Emmanuel Macron organized the negotiations between the MM. Pashinyan and Aliyev in Brussels in August.
Russia and the EU, which have a weak attitude towards these initiatives in the region they consider their backyard, sharply criticized their respective mediation efforts.
Mr Macron accused Russia in particular of wanting to “stabilize” the peace process, while Vladimir Putin condemned the “unacceptable” remarks. In mid-October, Putin pleaded: “Russia has always sincerely tried to resolve conflicts, including problems related to Karabakh.”
Ahead of the talks, Mr. Pashinyan said on Saturday that he was ready to extend the presence of 2,000 Russian peacekeepers for up to 20 years, hoping for an offer from Mr. Putin in this direction.
The president of Azerbaijan has vowed to fill Karabakh with Azerbaijanis thanks to his military victory in 2020, while this region, inhabited mainly by Armenians, has been out of Baku’s control since the first war in the 1990s, which killed nearly 30,000 people. , during the collapse of the USSR.
Turkey, an ally of Baku, has also made mediation efforts, and recently its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with the MM. Aliyev and Pashinyan in Prague.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he hoped for a “normalization” of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which vowed not to “use force” after a tripartite summit aimed at asserting Moscow’s influence in the Caucasus. This summit was organized in Sochi, southwestern Russia, a month after the border clashes…