Kremlin: Russian, Azerbaijani leaders discuss security measures in South Caucasus

The presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, Vladimir Putin and Ilkham Aliyev, discussed practical measures for security and stability in the Caucasus during their latest phone conversation, the Kremlin press service said on Thursday.

“Practical measures, aimed at ensuring security and stability in the South Caucasus within the framework of the well-known trilateral agreements of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, were discussed,” the press service said in a statement.

The sides also “exchanged opinions about developing transportation, logistical and economic ties in the region.”

Earlier on Thursday, Aliyev accused Armenia of grossly violating the trilateral agreement signed in November 2020. In his words, the country still has not fully withdrawn its troops from the territories of Azerbaijan.

In turn, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Thursday that Azerbaijan was trying to provoke a military escalation along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh.

He also said the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, caused by Azerbaijan’s blocking of the Lachin corridor road connecting it with Armenia, has not yet escalated into a full-fledged humanitarian disaster thanks to Russian peacekeepers.

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, 2020. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on the full cessation of hostilities.

The sides stopped at their positions at that moment, a number of districts went under Baku’s control, and Russian peacekeepers were deployed at the contact line and at the so-called Lachin Corridor.

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