The Russian president Vladimir Putin emphasized yesterday Friday that, despite the ongoing “military operation” in Ukraine (as the Kremlin characterizes its attack of Russia in its neighboring country), Moscow has sufficient resources to mediate the conflict of Armenia–Azerbaijan.
Hostilities on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan ended under a ceasefire agreement two days ago after more than 200 people were killed in fighting related to the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev assured his Russian counterpart that the situation on his country’s border with Armenia “has now stabilized”.
Baku and Yerevan blame each other for the recent clashes, which have been the bloodiest since the war that broke out in autumn 2020 (lasting 44 days).
“Thanks to Russia’s influence, this conflict has been reduced to a local level,” Putin told reporters at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan. Asked if Russia has the resources to maintain its influence in the region, given the open front in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin replied: “As you can see, there are quite a few.”
However, Armenia appears unhappy with Russia’s reaction. Yerevan requested the intervention of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which is led by Moscow. But the OSCE was content to send experts to the region.
“We are very unhappy, of course. The expectations we had were not met,” Armenian parliament speaker Alen Simonyan said on public television, likening the OSCE to a blank pistol, according to Interfax. Pointing out that Armenia has concluded a mutual aid agreement with Russia, Simonyan stressed: “We expect more tangible measures from our Russian partners, not just statements or half-asseds.”
Putin had a telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday, while the latter also spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Paris reaffirmed its support to Yerevan regarding Armenia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, announced that she will visit Armenia this weekend.
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