“Let’s finish all this in the Caucasus,” Erdogan told Putin
The Kremlin on Wednesday rebuffed statements made by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who told parliament that he had proposed to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, a joint mediation effort to end the Karabakh conflict.
The Kremlin denied the two leaders, who held a phone conversation late Tuesday, discussed Ankara’s participation in negotiations to settle the conflict. “It did not figure on the agenda” of the call, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
“I held detailed discussions with Putin and said let’s finish all this in the Caucasus,” Erdogan told lawmakers in parliament Wednesday about the phone call, which was initiated by Turkey. “If you want, we can solve this together, you can hold talks with Pashinyan and I can talk with my brother, Aliyev.”
According to the Kremlin’s readout of the call, Putin expressed serious concern to Erdiogan about the ongoing and expanding involvement of “terrorists from the Middle East” in the ongoing hostilities in Karabakh. Of course, to inflame matters, Erdogan falsely claimed to his lawmakers that Armenia was using militant belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to fight Azerbaijan.
Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, reiterated that Turkey could not become a mediator in the Karabakh conflict “without Armenia’s consent.”
Erdogan’s conversation with Putin came a day after a U.S.-brokered ceasefire—the third this month—was violated by Azerbaijan, whose forces began shelling Artsakh civilian and military positions minutes after the agreement went into effect at 8 a.m. local time on Monday.
When the ceasefire was announced on Sunday in Washington, it was accompanied by a statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, who signaled that possible talks between the foreign minister of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Jeyhun Bayramov, would take place in Geneva on Thursday.
Erdogan, on Wednesday, continue his attacks on the Minsk Group co-chairs, saying that they have for years “stalled for time, rather than solved the problem.”