Beginning of Russian-Azerbaijani talks
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
Thank you for coming to Sochi. In fact, this is a meeting organised at your initiative and on the initiative of the Prime Minister of Armenia – precisely in Sochi, where, apparently, you were hoping for nice Sochi weather, but instead got an autumn day. Nevertheless, I believe this meeting is significant and important.
The purpose of this meeting, as I see it, is to ensure the implementation of all our agreements reached in 2020 and 2021. You have noted many times that Russia has played a prominent, important role in settling the conflict. And now our peacekeeping contingent is fulfilling its mission, as it should. I am grateful for these assessments.
And today, of course, we have to talk about the current situation and search for ways to resolve open issues. In this context, I would like to note an important economic element: we have established a trilateral working group headed by deputy prime ministers. They have made good progress in addressing issues we discussed earlier, two years ago. It looks like an additional impetus is needed there, too. I know that the Azerbaijani side is working quite hard in this sense.
There is a wide range of issues.
I am glad to see you. Welcome.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Mr President, and thank you for the invitation. It is a pleasure to meet with you again. We met last month, too, and this month we had a chance to discuss in detail our bilateral relations and note the positive momentum in them.
Our meeting today is dedicated to our regional affairs. I would like to once again express my gratitude to you for the role you have played in settling the Karabakh conflict: a trilateral declaration was signed two years ago that put an end to years of conflict.
Now it is time to speak and act with a view to normalising relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. And of course, we greatly appreciate your personal role in this matter. Today’s trilateral meeting, which will follow a little later, will not be our first. Such meetings have been held at your initiative, and I can see that they have given a very good impetus to the normalisation process.
Quite recently, Azerbaijan formulated five basic principles for normalising relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. These are the fundamental principles of international law, and I think that normalisation can be achieved on this basis.
The Karabakh conflict is already history; it was resolved two years ago, so there is hardly anything to discuss in this context. And the normalisation of Azerbaijani-Armenian relations is a format that, of course, requires some very serious steps. We are hoping for your continued active personal role and Russia’s role in achieving these goals.
Thank you again for the invitation.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.