The two men held talks in the Russian city the day after attending an informal summit of the leaders of former Soviet republics. Putin revealed that he and Pashinian also spoke with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev during the summit.
“We started yesterday and the three of us managed to talk,” he told Pashinian at the start of their meeting. “Of course, the main issue is the settlement of the situation in the South Caucasus as a whole, Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, and everything related to Karabakh.”
“So, as agreed, we will discuss all these issues in detail,” added Putin.
He did not say whether Aliyev and Pashinian reached any understandings during their conversation with him. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed afterwards that it was not a “full-fledged meeting held in a trilateral format.”
The Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers were scheduled to meet ahead of the Saint-Petersburg summit. Yerevan cancelled the talks due to the Azerbaijani blockade.
In his opening remarks at the bilateral meeting with Putin, Pashinian again said that the closure of the Lachin corridor runs counter to the Russian-brokered agreement that stopped the 2020 Armenian-Azerbaijani war in Karabakh.
“I want to remind you that, according to the tripartite statement of the president of the Russian Federation, the president of Azerbaijan and the prime minister of Armenia, the Lachin corridor should be under the control of Russian peacekeepers and Azerbaijan guaranteed the unimpeded passage of passengers, cargo and people along the Lachin corridor,” he said.
“Now it turns out that the Lachin corridor is not under the control of Russian peacekeepers,” complained Pashinian. “Of course, I would like to discuss this situation, what options there are.”
Pashinian last week criticized Moscow for not ending the blockade. The Kremlin rejected the criticism.