Putin discusses Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijani, Armenian leaders

Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed the situation in and around the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in telephone conversations, the Kremlin press service has announced.

“The phone talks touched on the pertinent issues of the bilateral agenda as well as regional topics. For instance, the development of the situation around Karabakh was discussed with Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan,” the press service said.

On September 19, tensions flared up again in Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku announced it was launching what it described as “local anti-terrorist measures” and demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the region. Yerevan, in turn, said there were no Armenian forces in Karabakh, calling what was happening “an act of large-scale aggression.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry called upon the parties to the conflict to stop the bloodshed, end hostilities, prevent civilian casualties, and go back to trying to settle the Karabakh issue diplomatically.

On September 20, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said that an agreement was reached with the participation of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to suspend anti-terrorist measures in Karabakh. On September 21, in the Azerbaijani town of Yevlakh, an initial meeting was held between representatives of Azerbaijan and Karabakh’s Armenian residents in order “to discuss the issues of reintegration.”

On September 28, Samvel Shahramanyan, president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) signed a decree dissolving the unrecognized state effective January 1, 2024. The local ethnic Armenian population has been advised to consider the reintegration proposals being put forward by Baku and decide for themselves whether to remain or to relocate.

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