Russia Tells Turkey To Drop Karabakh Linkage

MOSCOW (RFE/RL)–Turkey should not link the normalization of its relations with Armenia to further progress in international efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

Putin also reaffirmed Moscow’s support for Turkey’s dramatic rapprochement with Armenia, his country’s main regional ally, after talks with his visiting Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“We receive with great optimism Turkish proposals on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations,” he told a joint news conference. “We very much hope all elements of shortest approaches [to the normalization] will be used in the negotiating process and Armenia’s leadership is also on this positive path.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was among foreign dignitaries that attended the signing in Zurich last October of two protocols envisaging the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey and the opening of their border. Erdogan has repeatedly stated since then that Turkey’s parliament will not ratify the protocols without a resolution of the Karabakh dispute acceptable to Azerbaijan. Armenia responded to those statements by threatening to walk away from the deal.

In remarks that will be welcomed by Yerevan, Putin made clear that Moscow believes the two issues should not be “tied in one package.” “It is difficult to solve each of these problems separately, and if one tackles them in a single package, then prospects for their settlement will automatically become very remote,” he said. “Packaging these problems is not quite right from the practical and strategic standpoints.”

The Karabakh conflict was expected to be on the agenda of Erdogan’s talks with Putin and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Speaking at a Moscow diplomatic academy earlier in the day, Erdogan implicitly urged the Russians to do more to broker a Karabakh settlement. He said they can become “the most important actor” in the Karabakh peace process.

The Turkish premier’s high-profile visit focused on growing Russian-Turkish energy cooperation. Medvedev described Moscow’s current rapport with Ankara as “strategic partnership.”


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  1. Avetis said:

    Putin the Great for president… in Armenia!!! Long live Mother Russia; the last front against pan-Turkism, Islamic fundamentalism, American imperialism, globalism and Zionism.

  2. KRIKOR said:

    it’s not a surprise, I always said that Russia will press on Armenia for certin concessions on Turkey’s front in regard of pre genocide recognition or any demands for territories and etc… demands that already out of reach, but Artsakh is a read line even for Russia!!!!

  3. rebecca said:

    Erdogan needs to get some priorities right> First, and foremost: Armenia needs to be compensated for the mass genocide perpetuated against their undefended populations, committed against them by the Turks. Their land and properties need to be rendered 100%, and a full apology must be made to all Armenians, without delay or exception.
    Second> Turkey needs to GET OUT of Cyprus – where land, properties and lives were brutally seized and stolen by the violent invasion of the Turk army. They are in VIOLATION of international rights and need to immediately withdraw all Turk Citizens from Cyprus, who have NO RIGHT to the land or the Cypriot nationality. This needs to happen immediately. Third> The Turks need to CEASE and STOP the ethnic cleansing and current persecution, genocide and crimes against the KURD population in Turkey. No self respecting Armenian will expect any less, end of story.

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  5. Whatever said:

    Big Guys talk small guys listen….Armenia in EU ASAP….thats the only way

  6. jerry sabounjian said:

    Now that Erdoghan has been told the same, by the Europeans, the Americans, and now , by Putin, not to precondition the border opening with Armenia to the Karabagh, may be now he can stop barking.

  7. Gayane said:

    Sure it is just “strategic partnership”.. that is such a lie.. they know exactly what they are doing..

  8. Genocide denierInvestigator said:

    that fool thinks he can fool the Russians and Putin, he thinks he is a charmer, they can’t wait for him to leave their presence and their country, they know Turkey won’t be around long but right now they have to deal with them and that’s about it. what  Putin is saying in his mind is, you miserable murdering ignorant scum you deserve nothing and are getting all this because Russia has a lot of expenses,  and i have lowered myself enough to let you be in my presence, now leave. but to his face he is saying please make this short i really do have a very pressing business to take care of, and don’t mean to rush you but i have a weak stomach and you have to excuse me now. in his head again, now just leave go away good boy and do as you are told yes we will accept all the money and goods you want to send our way that’s appreciated now go away we have a very much richer older bigger country than you to run with civilized people in it. thanks, so long, Turkey.

  9. Pogos Petrosian said:

    they know Turkey won’t be around long
    what? do you know something that no one else in the world knows yet?

  10. Lusik said:

    It is not first time that Turkey uses political moment – this time it is “new world order”, to become an indispensable part of major international processes. There are several interesting instances in this play, which are worth to be observed. While President Gul applies language of peace and conformity, Erdogan displays aggression (Davidoglu watches for right doses). So, as a result, Turkey stays afloat no matter what. Turkey acts rude and savage. While claiming to be a good mediator between Wets and East, Turkey builds a North-South geopolitical axes. Turkey does not mind betraying its master – the USA, by working toward weakening of American dollar. In my opinion, tensions with Israel are due to reorientation of financial products of Turkey toward deep East. Soon we will see Turkey seeking for a new master. Turkey betrays also its “small brother” – Azerbaijan, by unloading promises of blocking the solution of Artsakh’s problem on the Russian (Putin) shoulders. It puts Azerbaijan under Russian hegemony.