Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed not to use force

After their summit with Vladimir Putin on Monday, Armenia and Azerbaijan vowed “not to use force” to find a solution to the conflict surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

The summit was held in Sochi in southwestern Russia, a month after border clashes that killed 286 people. It is the heaviest loss since the 2020 war for control of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has been disputed between these two former Soviet republics since the 1990s.

“Useful meeting,” says Putin

In the joint declaration adopted at the end of the summit, Baku and Yerevan “will not use force”, including “they will resolve all disputes only on the basis of recognition of mutual sovereignty and territorial integration”.

They also emphasized “the importance of active preparation for the conclusion of a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia in order to ensure sustainable and long-term peace in the region.”

“In our general opinion, this was a very useful meeting and created a very good atmosphere for possible future agreements,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said after the summit with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

“Russia, in turn, will do everything for the final and comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he added: “The normalization of relations is in everyone’s interest.”

Stuck for eight months with Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, which has embarrassed its traditional partners, Putin, with this summit, wanted Russia to restore its traditional role as a ruler in this unstable region, where the West is carrying out its mediation efforts.


The Russian President first spoke privately with the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, and he emphasized that his priorities are the withdrawal of Russian peacekeeping forces from the territory of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh and the release of prisoners of war. . The Russian president then received his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev and thanked him for “stimulating the normalization process”.

The fall 2020 war between Armenia and Azerbaijan left more than 6,500 dead on both sides and ended with Armenia’s military defeat and a Moscow-sponsored peace deal. As in September, despite the presence of Russian soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh and the recognized border between the two countries, occasional clashes continued.

These Russian-sponsored talks coincide with a time when Western capitals are more actively involved in mediating the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. European Council President Charles Michel and French President Emmanuel Macron held talks between Pashinyan and Aliyev in Brussels in August.

EU-Russia estrangement

The EU and Russia, which have a weak attitude towards these initiatives in the region they consider to be their backyard, sharply criticized the respective mediation efforts. Macron specifically accused Russia of wanting to “destabilize” the peace process, while Vladimir Putin condemned the “unacceptable” remarks.

At a press conference in Sochi on Monday, Putin called it “impossible”, saying that “our European partners are conducting their policy in a way that is aimed at excluding Russia from all negotiation formats.”

Before the talks, Pashinyan announced on Saturday that he was ready to extend the presence of 2,000 Russian peacekeepers for up to 20 years. The current contract, signed in 2020, provides for their deployment for five years with possible automatic extension.

The president of Azerbaijan has vowed to fill Karabakh with Azerbaijanis thanks to his military victory in 2020, while this region, inhabited mainly by Armenians, has been out of Baku’s control since the first war in the 1990s, which killed nearly 30,000 people. , during the collapse of the USSR. Turkey, an ally of Baku, has also made mediation efforts, and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, recently met with Aliyev and Pashinyan in Prague.

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