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

Nakhchivanis meet Iranians to discuss widening energy trade

The speaker of parliament of the disputed Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic—a landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan—has met with Iran’s economy minister to voice readiness for the securing of more ... more

Agreements with Armenia highlight of uneventful EU Eastern Partnership summit

The EU and Armenia signed a comprehensive and advanced partnership agreement and a common aviation area agreement at the Eastern Partnership summit on November 24, according to an ... more

Iranian-style KitKat may be headed for EEU as part of free trade deal

Iran is set to export biscuits and chocolate as part of a broader free trade deal with Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) states, Tehran’s Financial Tribune daily reported on November 1. Iranian ... more