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Putin, Pashinian Again Discuss Karabakh In Phone Call


Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian meet in the Kremlin, Moscow, October 12, 2021.

In a second telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian this week Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday again discussed agreements on Nagorno-Karabakh and the situation in the South Caucasus, the Kremlin said.

In a terse statement the Russian president’s press service said that “discussions continued on the situation in the region and measures aimed at stabilizing the situation in the context of the agreements reached on Nagorno-Karabakh on November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021.”

“Nikol Pashinian expressed his gratitude for Russia’s active mediation efforts,” the Kremlin said.

The first telephone conversation between the leaders of Russia and Armenia this week that was held upon the initiative of Pashinian was on November 16. It took place amid a fresh escalation along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in which at least 13 troops were killed.

The skirmishes along the border turned out to be the worst Armenian-Azerbaijani fighting since last year’s 44-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh that was stopped due to a Russia-brokered ceasefire.

After that telephone conversation a ceasefire was established along the un-demarcated border with the mediation of the Russian side.

Two days later, Pashinian announced that the Russian Defense Ministry had submitted proposals “on the preparatory stage for the demarcation and delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border”, which he said were acceptable to Yerevan. Baku has not yet officially responded to those proposals.

Earlier, Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigorian said that Yerevan intended to apply to Russia in writing for military assistance in defending its territorial integrity. Official sources, however, do not specify yet whether such an application has been filed. There is no mention of this in the Kremlin’s statement today. It is only mentioned that “an agreement has been reached on further contacts.”

During a news briefing on Friday Eduard Aghajanian, a pro-government lawmaker who heads the Armenian parliament’s foreign-relations committee, said that after Armenia’s application to Russia assistance in restoring its territorial integrity “the problem is expected to be solved as a result of the proposed demarcation and delimitation process.”

In early November Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that a trilateral meeting of the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia was being prepared in Moscow. Russian state television Rossia-1 even reported that the meeting could take place on the first anniversary of the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire on November 9. Shortly after that announcement Armenia’s prime minister denied that there was any agreement about such a meeting.

Meanwhile, the European Union said on Friday that during phone talks with Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, earlier this week Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev agreed to meet on the sidelines of the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels on December 15.

“During the phone calls, the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders have also agreed to establish a direct communication line, at the level of respective Ministers of Defense, to serve as an incident prevention mechanism,” the EU said.

Both Yerevan and Baku have confirmed the upcoming meeting in Brussels.

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