Putin Holds Government Meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh Settlement

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with senior officials on issues of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement ahead of his talks with the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders, the Kremlin said on Sunday, TASS reported.

“Ahead of a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Vladimir Putin held a government meeting on issues of Nagorno-Karabakh settlement and the situation in the South Caucasus,” as follows from a press statement posted on the Kremlin website.

Participants in the meeting included Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, director of th Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, and director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin.

Other topics included issues of security during the New Year holdays.

The Kremlin press service said earlier that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan were expected to arrive in Moscow on Monday, January 11, to take part in trilateral talks on the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The sides plan to discuss the implementation of their November 9, 2020 statement on Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as further steps to resolve problems of the region.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July.

On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. Under the document, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides stopped at the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachinsky corridor that connects Armenia with the enclave to exercise control of the ceasefire observance. Apart from that, a number of districts came over to Baku’s control.