Participants in the meeting discussed the implementation of the Statement by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia on Nagorno-Karabakh of November 9, 2020, further steps to address the region’s problems, providing aid to the residents of areas affected by hostilities, as well as resuming and developing trade and economic ties and transport links.
Following the consultations, Vladimir Putin, Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan signed the Statement by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the President of the Russian Federation.
The leaders of the three countries also made statements for the press.
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Beginning of the meeting with Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Aliyev, Mr Pashinyan,
I am happy to welcome you to Moscow, and we appreciate that you agreed to discuss the implementation of our trilateral Statement on Nagorno-Karabakh of November 9, 2020, as well as further steps to overcome the existing problems and establish peaceful life in the region.
Russia values the partnership and friendly relations that our countries and peoples share; therefore, we are sincerely worried and concerned about the lives of people during this armed conflict. The large-scale hostilities, unfortunately, have led to numerous casualties and aggravated the already complicated situation in the South Caucasus, and increased the risk of terrorism spreading.
I would like to thank you, colleagues, for positively receiving Russia’s active intermediary efforts aimed at stopping the bloodshed, stabilising the situation and establishing a lasting ceasefire. The diplomatic and military agencies of our countries worked hard to reach these goals. We were in contact all the time and were looking for a compromise together.
It is owing to our common efforts, after intensive talks by telephone, including those at night, as you remember, that we agreed on a tripartite statement on November 9 and signed it. This fundamental document primarily calls for a complete cessation of hostilities, the sending of Russian peacekeepers to the region, and, crucially, the provision of comprehensive and effective aid to the population affected by the armed clashes in returning to normal life.
I would like to emphasise that in all of its actions Russia was striving to follow the key best practices of the Minsk OSCE Group. We continue regularly checking our actions with our partners – co-chairs of the Minsk Group.
It is possible to state today with satisfaction that the tripartite agreements are being consistently fulfilled. We are convinced this is creating the prerequisites for a lasting, full-scale settlement of the long-standing conflict on a fair basis, in the interests of the people of both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed to monitor the ceasefire at the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict line and along the Lachin corridor at the requests of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Twenty-three observation posts operate in the Russian peacekeepers’ zone of responsibility; another four additional posts are in charge of safe traffic in the corridor. Now the situation in the region is calm.
We are doing much for the safe return of internally displaced persons and refugees. Over 48,000 people have already returned to Karabakh since November 14. Prisoners and bodies of the dead were exchanged with Russia’s mediation.
The International Humanitarian Response Centre, where our countries’ experts address essential issues related to returning normal life to villages, rebuilding the destroyed infrastructure and protecting historical, religious and cultural landmarks, is operating successfully. Its employees are restoring energy and heat supply.
Russia has already delivered to the conflict zone over 800 tonnes of construction materials and a total of over 1.5 million tonnes of humanitarian cargo. Medical aid is being provided to the locals. Over 479 ha of land have been cleared of mines, and 182 km of roads and 710 buildings have been checked. Over 22,000 explosives were discovered and destroyed.
I believe that today it would be important, above all, to outline our next steps in the key areas of the settlement process envisaged in the joint Statement of November 9, 2020. I mean issues related to the activities of the Russian peacekeeping troops and the need to clarify demarcation lines, solve humanitarian problems and protect cultural heritage sites.
The task of restoring economic, trade and transport links in the region as well as opening borders deserves special attention. A special trilateral working group chaired by Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian deputy prime ministers is to address this task.
Colleagues, I hope that our talks today will be held in a business-like atmosphere and will serve to ensure lasting peace, security, and sustained socioeconomic development in the region, in which all of us are, of course, interested.