29.Oct .2022 00:00

Putin to host leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan for talks

Putin to host leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan for talks
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Russian President Vladimir Putin will host the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to help broker a settlement to a longstanding conflict between the two ex-Soviet neighbors, the Kremlin said Friday.

Putin’s talks with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will be held at the Russian leader’s Black Sea residence in Sochi on Monday.

The Kremlin said the leaders will discuss the implementation of a 2020 peace deal brokered by Russia and “further steps to enhance stability and security in the Caucasus,” adding that “the issues related to the restoration and development of trade and economic and transport links will also be discussed.”

The ex-Soviet neighbors have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.

During a six-week war in 2020, Azerbaijan reclaimed broad swaths of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent territories held by Armenian forces. More than 6,700 people died in the fighting, which ended with a Russian-brokered peace agreement. Moscow deployed about 2,000 troops to the region to serve as peacekeepers.

A new round of hostilities erupted in September, when more than 200 troops were killed on both sides in two days of heavy fighting. Armenia and Azerbaijan traded blame for triggering the fighting, AP reports.