Russia affirms readiness to facilitate peace talks between Azerbaijan, Armenia
Tensions between the two nations have remained high for over two years since Yerevan and Baku disputed over the Nagorno-Karabakh region
By News Desk - February 28 2023

(Photo Credit: AP)

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov affirmed that Moscow’s peacekeepers are ready to organize peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia on 28 February during a press conference in Baku.

These peacekeepers are stationed at the Lachin corridor, a mountain road that links Armenia and the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed region between Yerevan and Baku. The peacekeepers reside in the area to ensure unhindered traffic and the facilitation of bilateral trade between the neighboring countries and Russia.

Lavrov said that Baku confirmed its readiness to move forward with peace negotiations, while Yerevan previously clarified that it has no objections to peace talks; however, neither side has given its final confirmation.

Tensions between the two nations have remained relatively high for over two years since Azerbaijan launched an attack on the region. The conflict claimed the lives of over 6,500 people on both sides, while Azerbaijan claims to have “crushed” the Armenian forces.

On the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed security issues with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev – specifically related to the Azerbaijani-Armenian borders – and expressed his desire for Yerevan and Baku to normalize relations.

Earlier this month, the border gate between Armenia and Azeri-ally Turkiye opened for the first time in 35 years to facilitate the transfer of aid to the victims of the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that reportedly killed over 50,000 people. 

According to Anadolu Agency, the last time the Alican checkpoint opened was in 1988, when the Turkish Red Crescent sent aid to earthquake-hit Armenia. The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8 and took over 38,000 lives.

A few days later, Turkiye’s foreign minister claimed that Armenia’s humanitarian aid contributions could potentially move Ankara and Yerevan closer to normalizing relations, with experts assuming that this would also bring Armenia and Azerbaijan closer.

Cavusoglu previously disclosed on 14 October 2022 that Ankara is moving towards normalization with Yerevan “in the near future.”

This came after Erdogan and the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met in Prague on 6 October to hold the first high-level talks between the two states in over 13 years.

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