Putin to welcome Armenian, Azerbaijani leaders as fighting resumes


Russian President Vladimir Putin will host the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders this week, days after some of the worst fighting between enemies in the Caucasus since last year’s war against Nagorno-Karabakh, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Putin will meet with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani Ilham Aliyev on Friday in the Russian resort of Sochi on the Black Sea.

The trio will meet at Putin’s initiative, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The Kremlin said the talks were “scheduled to coincide” with the anniversary of a Russian-mediated ceasefire, signed in November last year, which ended six weeks of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, long contested.

The deal saw Armenia cede swathes of territory it had controlled for decades.

The Kremlin said the leaders would discuss “further steps to strengthen stability and bring peace to the region.”

Earlier this month, clashes erupted on the shared border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with both sides reporting casualties and mutually blaming each other for the fighting.

Russia intervened to arbitrate, the Minister of Defense of Moscow, Sergei Shoigu, negotiating a ceasefire.

Pashinyan and Aliyev last met in January in the Russian capital.

Last year’s war claimed the lives of over 6,500 people.


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