Armenian PM Nikol Pashinian agrees to meet Azerbaijan leader in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, and Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the Black Sea resort Sochi, Russia, on Nov. 26, 2021.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, and Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the Black Sea resort Sochi, Russia, on Nov. 26, 2021. Copyright Mikhail Klimentyev/AP
Copyright Mikhail Klimentyev/AP
By Euronews with AFP
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Pashinian announced that he had accepted Russia's offer to hold a trilateral meeting with President Putin and President Ilham Aliyev in the Russian capital amid tensions over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

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Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has agreed to meet with the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. The Russian-mediated summit will take place next week in Moscow. 

"We received a proposal from Russia to hold a trilateral meeting at the highest level under the mediation of the president of Russia on 25 May," Pashinian told his cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

The two Caucasus neighbours have fought two wars over the Nagorno-Karabakh region and often see deadly clashes along their volatile border. 

Baku and Yerevan have been seeking to negotiate a peace agreement with the help of the European Union and the United States, whose diplomatic engagement in the Caucasus has irked traditional regional power broker Russia.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will also host the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan for talks in the Russian capital on Friday.

Vladimir Smirnov/AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at their meeting during the 78th anniversary of the end of World War II in Moscow, 9 May 2023Vladimir Smirnov/AP

Nagorno-Karabakh

The two countries fought two wars, in 2020 and in the 1990s, for control of Azerbaijan's mostly Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Pashinyan said both sides must "demilitarise" their shared border, blaming Baku for "continuing the policy of escalation."

Six weeks of hostilities in autumn 2020 ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire that saw Armenia cede swathes of territory it had controlled for decades.

Yerevan has grown increasingly frustrated over what it calls Moscow's failure to protect Armenia in the face of military threat from Azerbaijan.

With Russia bogged down in Ukraine and unwilling to strain ties with Azerbaijan's key ally Turkey, the United States and European Union have sought to steer a thaw in ties.

On Sunday, Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met in Brussels for a fresh round of talks hosted by European Council President Charles Michel.

In his speech on Thursday, the Armenian prime minister said both sides agreed in Brussels to recognise the other's territorial integrity, hailing "the important step towards peace and stability in the region."

He said that "progress" had been made towards preparing "the final text of a peace agreement."

Another meeting between Pashinyan and Aliyev set for 1 June in Moldova was expected to involve French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

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