Putin to oversee Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks in St Petersburg in June

By bne IntelliNews June 10, 2016

The presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan will meet in St. Petersburg in late June to discuss the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia's Ria Novosti reported on June 9.

The trilateral summit in St. Petersburg comes a month after Azerbaijan's president Ilham Aliyev and his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan met in Vienna on May 16 for the first time since a four-day war in early April sent shock waves in the Caucasus and the international community. The protracted conflict began in the late 1980s; a ceasefire in 1994 ended hostilities, but there has been no peace settlement.

After the April violence, Russia has emerged as a winner in that it has become the default peace broker in the conflict. Together with France and the US, the Kremlin presides over the peace mediating Minsk Group, which operates under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). However, the Minsk Group has been unable to broker a deal over the breakaway region in the last two decades, in part because the warring parties have refused to compromise.

If Russia continues to play a leading role in the conflict, its influence over both Armenia, where it is already the main commercial and diplomatic partner, and Azerbaijan will likely increase, and the Kremlin will once again prove that its negotiating skills are superior to those of Western governments.

In a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in early June, Aliyev praised Moscow for its recent efforts towards a peace settlement. 

Related Articles

Military build-up reported in Nagorno Karabakh as Yerevan distracted by protests

Officials in both Baku and Yerevan claimed on April 23 that the security situation has worsened along the line of conflict in the disputed breakaway Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR).  The ... more

Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia enjoying Persian new year influx of Iranians

Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are enjoying a welcome injection of revenues from the annual influx of Iranians enjoying their long Nowruz Persian new year holiday. Anecdotal evidence indicates ... more

Iran could join Moscow-led EEU by May says Russian minister

Russia’s Energy Minister Aleksander Novak has said Iran could join the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) by May, RT reported on March 10. Tehran has repeatedly lobbied Moscow over the past year to ... more