The president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, was in Moscow yesterday (20 July) on the invitation of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. This was Aliyev’s second working visit to Russia this year – the first, on 11 January with the Armenian prime minister – and came amidst clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
A statement on Monday (19 July) by the Kremlin said, “the main focus [of the leaders’ discussions] will be given to the practical aspects of the implementation of November 9, 2020, and January 11, 2021, agreements of leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia on Nagorno-Karabakh, including regarding the unblocking and development of economic and transport ties”.
Yesterday, after welcoming the Azerbaijani leader and addressing bilateral issues, Putin stated:
"Of course, one of the most important issues remains the issue of resolving the situation in the region. I know that, of course, you pay much more attention, [attach] importance, and I want to thank you for finding compromise solutions. They are always the most difficult, but if we want - and we all want - settlement, then we must follow this path. Until now, we have been able to do this, for which I want to thank you."
After thanking Putin for his invitation and noting developments in Russian-Azerbaijani relations, Aliyev followed with:
"And of course, the topic of the post-conflict situation in the region. I would like to express my gratitude to you for your constant attention to this issue, personal participation in solving very important and sensitive issues. We are in constant contact with you.
"Over the past eight months after the end of hostilities, I think that our personal communication - both in Moscow in January and by phone - played a very important role in stabilising the situation. We are determined to ensure that the post-conflict period is as painless as possible. I think we succeed in this with our joint efforts."
Aliyev finished by noting that the men would discuss "important issues of interaction and regional problems".