According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the separate phone calls took place on Monday and Tuesday “in view of the upcoming anniversary” of a ceasefire agreement that stopped the six-week war over Karabakh.
The ministry said Lavrov “compared notes” with Foreign Ministers Ararat Mirzoyan of Armenia and Jeyhun Bayramov of Azerbaijan with regard to easing tensions along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and “unblocking all transport and economic links in the South Caucasus.”
“Sergei Lavrov stressed the importance of continuing efforts aimed at political and diplomatic settlement of the full range of issues in relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” it said.
The conversations came a week after some Russian and Armenian media outlets reported that that Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to host fresh talks between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
Aliqmedia.am claimed that the talks will be timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the November 9, 2020 truce accord brokered by Putin. Citing unnamed Armenian diplomatic sources, the publication said Aliyev and Pashinian will sign two agreements envisaging the demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and its opening for cargo traffic.
The Armenian government sent mixed signals in response to those reports. Mirzoyan did not explicitly rule out last week the possibility of an Armenian-Azerbaijani summit. But he denied that Yerevan is planning to make far-reaching concessions to Baku.
The official Armenian readout of Mirzoyan’s phone call with Lavrov said both ministers agreed on the need to address “humanitarian issues resulting from the 44-day war.”
“Ararat Mirzoyan stressed the need for the unconditional repatriation of Armenian prisoners of war and other detainees as well as the preservation of Armenian religious and historical-cultural heritage in the territories of Artsakh that fell under Azerbaijani control,” added the statement.