The three ministers were due to meet in Moscow on December 23. Yerevan cancelled the trilateral meeting in protest against Baku’s blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh’s land link with Armenia. Moscow criticized the move.
In a phone call with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov late on Tuesday, Lavrov said he is still ready to organize the talks in the Russian capital. They would focus on an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty, he said, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry declined to say on Wednesday whether Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan will agree to meet with Lavrov and Bayramov this time around. Nor did it clarify whether Lavrov’s latest offer was officially communicated to Yerevan.
A senior Armenian pro-government lawmaker, Vigen Khachatrian, said Mirzoyan must avoid such talks as long as the Lachin corridor remains blocked by Azerbaijani government-backed protesters.
“We must make clear that Armenia will not haggle over the Lachin corridor,” he said. “They want to draw Mirzoyan into such horse-trading.”
Khachatrian repeated his allegations that Moscow is using the Azerbaijani blockade to try to force Yerevan to open an extraterritorial corridor to Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave. Armen Grigorian, the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, effectively echoed such allegations in December, prompting angry Russian rebuttals.
Lavrov urged Baku to end the blockade during his previous phone conversation with Bayramov reported on January 17. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the two men on Tuesday “continued to discuss ways of resolving the situation over the Lachin corridor.”
The ministry reported the call a few hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian spoke by phone. Pashinian again urged Putin to help unblock the sole road connecting Karabakh to Armenia.