Putin to host leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan for talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan for talks



MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan for talks on Friday, during which the three are expected to discuss ways to resolve tensions over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.



Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday that Putin held a bilateral meeting with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in the southern city of Sochi. After that, the Russian President is to sit down with Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and then have a separate bilateral meeting with Pashinyan.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are locked in a decades-old dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region that lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war ended in 1994.



The Azerbaijani army defeated the Armenian army in the fall of 2020 in 44 days of fierce fighting, which ended with the Russo-Dalal peace agreement, in which Azerbaijan gained control of a significant part of Nagorno-Karabakh and all areas controlled by Armenian forces. retrieved. outside the separatist zone

Russia has deployed about 2,000 peacekeepers for at least five years to oversee the peace deal.

The peace agreement was celebrated as a victory in Azerbaijan but was seen as a betrayal by the opposition in Armenia. The Pashinians defended it as the only way to prevent the Armenian army from losing control over the entire Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Pashinyan and Aliyev are also expected to meet in Brussels on 15 December for EU-sponsored talks.

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