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Russian president, Armenian premier discuss Nagorno-Karabakh


Russian president, Armenian premier discuss Nagorno-Karabakh

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday received the Armenian prime minister to discuss the current situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of the South Caucasus that in fall 2020 saw a 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“Of course, one of the most sensitive issues is the security situation around Nagorno-Karabakh,” Putin told Nikol Pashinyan at the meeting in the Russian port city of Vladivostok on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.

Putin underlined that he and Pahsinyan are in “constant contact” on the region, held under Armenian occupation for nearly three decades before the war in 2020, which ended with a deal brokered by Russia.

For his part, Pashinyan voiced appreciation for the presence of Russian peacekeepers in the region, stationed there after the Nov. 10, 2020 cease-fire.

“I also want to mention the mission of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh. We must admit that this is not an easy mission. We have repeatedly said this and we highly appreciate the activities of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, in the Lachin corridor,” stressed Pashinyan, who called Russia “the closest partner and strategic ally” of Armenia.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan 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.

In 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and over 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia, and the fighting ended with a deal brokered by Russia.

Clashes between the two armies restarted in early August.

Last month, Aliyev announced that the Azerbaijani army had moved into the strategic city of Lachin in Karabakh.

– Advancing Russia-Armenia relations

Earlier, Putin had opened the meeting by congratulating Pashinyan for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Russia and Armenia and the 25th anniversary of a landmark 1997 accord on a variety of aspects of the relations between the two countries.

“Our relations are developing in all directions. We work in our organizations — both in the economic organization and in the CSTO,” said the Russian president, referring to the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led military bloc.

“In the near future, you are also planning to attend SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) events in Uzbekistan,” he added.

Putin also noted that Russia was among Armenia’s top commercial partners and that their trade turnover had increased by 25-30%.

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