The presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan held a telephone conversation and discussed the current situation in the South Caucasus, the Kremlin reported on Tuesday.
Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan reportedly touched agreements they have reached with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan regarding the settlement of the conflict in the region.
“The current situation in the South Caucasus region was considered. The importance of consistent steps to ensure stability and security on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border was noted. In this context, the mood for the unconditional implementation of the entire set of relevant agreements of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia at the highest level was confirmed,” the Kremlin said.
The press statement did not specify whether the two leaders discussed the current Azerbaijani blockade of Artsakh, which has been in effect since December 12 when a group of Azerbaijanis posing as environmental activists have shut down the Lachin Corridor, which is the only road that connects Artsakh to the rest of the world.
The Kremlin added that further development of trade and economic cooperation, including the implementation of joint projects in the fields of energy and transport, were discussed in detail. It was agreed to continue contacts in various formats.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s foreign minister, Jeyhum Bayramov, met with Russia’s OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Igor Khovaev in Baku on Tuesday.
“During the meeting, the sides discussed the current situation in the process of normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, negotiations on a peace agreement, as well as various aspects of the protests on the Lachin road,” a statement following the meeting said.
Bayramov also brought to the attention that the Lachin road is not being used for the purposes stipulated by the Trilateral Declaration.
“The Minister stressed that the legitimate demands of the protesters have not been fulfilled so far, the Armenian side is using the situation for its political purposes and diverting the issue into a false direction,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported.
The meeting also discussed regional security and other issues of mutual interest,” the report reads.
Bayramov called steps and approaches by Azerbaijan as “constructive.” He said that Baku’s proposals for the peace process after the 44-day war have been submitted, and complained that Armenia was continuously “slowing down” the process.
“The minister recalled that Armenia boycotted the next round of peace agreement talks scheduled for last December.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry also unleashed another round of accusations against Armenia, demanding that the United Nations hold Armenia accountable for “war crimes.”