Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met on Thursday in Moscow with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan in talks mediated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the prime minister’s press office the sides discuss the opening of transport links and ecumenic infrastructure in the region and pledged to continue the process through a commission headed by the deputy prime minister of the three countries.
Russian press reported that the meeting lasted 20 minutes.
The situation, despite its difficulties, is moving toward a settlement. The remaining issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan are of a technical nature and can be overcome, Putin announced ahead of his meeting with Pashinyan and Aliyev.
The Russian leader said that “the crux are in the terminology.”
“Of course, behind those words there should be an accurate understanding of the realities and events that will follow the signing of a relevant documents, but in our opinion, I mean for all of us — both the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia — they are surmountable obstacles. By and large, they don’t exist, they are purely technical issues,” Putin added.
Ahead of the meeting Putin held separate meetings with Pashinyan and Aliyev.
“Unfortunately, contrary to the tripartite statement of November 9, 2020, Azerbaijan has illegally blocked the Lachin Corridor, as a restful of which a humanitarian crisis has plagued Nagorno-Karabakh,” Pashinyan reportedly told Putin. The prime minister also highlighted the fact that electricity and natural gas supplies have been shut off by Azerbaijan with supplies of food and other basic necessities are growing more scarce by the day.
Pashinyan told Putin that while Russian peacekeepers are working to temper the situation, the Lachin Corridor blockade took place in their presence.
Putin told Pashinyan that Russia’s position on the Lachin Corridor has not changed. In earlier statements, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has stressed that the Lachin Corridor must operate based on the provisions of the November 9, 2020 agreement, which stipulates unimpeded movement along the road under the control of Russian peacekeepers.
“You are aware that during our discussions with our Armenian colleagues and Azerbaijan, we have always been and remain to this very position now. Everything must correspond to the spirit and letter of our tripartite declaration. Our position here has not changed,” Putin said.
The Russian leader told Pashinyan that opening of the transport routes between Armenia and Azerbaijan remain a priority for Moscow, adding that he addressed the issue during his meeting with Aliyev.
Pashinyan said that Yerevan remains committed to advancing this matter, while Putin told the Armenian leader that he had secured a similar pledge from Aliyev.
However, Putin said, there are issues related to terminology that can be discussed in detail.
“The questions are very important and sensitive. I am sure that if we eventually, despite all the difficulties, reach decisions on these issues, it will be beneficial for both Armenia and Azerbaijan, but not only for those two countries. It will be beneficial for the entire region, because many states are interested in it, and it will contribute to the regulation of relations in all directions, including political, in terms of ensuring the security of people living in this area,” Putin added.