Pashinyan and Aliyev discuss reopening transport communications in Moscow

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow yesterday (25 May) for the latest round of a number of face-to-face negotiations to have taken place between Armenia and Azerbaijan this month.

The focus of the talks was unblocking regional transport communications. Despite reports from the Russian newspaper Kommersant that at least two documents were to be adopted following the talks, no such agreements materialised.

A short statement released by Nikol Pashinyan's office said that "issues related to the unblocking of regional transport and economic infrastructures were discussed" at Thursday's bilateral and trilateral meetings, adding that "an agreement was reached to continue the work after a week, within the framework of the meeting of the deputy prime ministers of the three countries".

It is understood that the deputy prime ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan had been working on the issue of unblocking transport communications in the week prior to yesterday's meetings in Moscow.

The office of the Azerbaijani President also published a read-out of a short address by President Putin, in which he said that despite difficulties, "the situation is developing towards settlement". Speaking about their work unblocking transport communications in the region, Putin said that "unsettled issues" remain, although these are "purely technical in nature" before adding that "the point is the terminology". 

"Of course," Putin said, "behind these terms is an accurate perception of realities and events".

Putin holds bilateral meetings with Pashinyan and Aliyev

Before yesterday's trilateral meeting, President Putin also held bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Pashinyan and President Aliyev.

In his meeting with Putin, Nikol Pashinyan said that Armenia is "ready to start unblocking all transport and economic links and communications based on the sovereignty and jurisdiction of our country."

"I want to confirm this position once again. I would like to confirm that we are ready, both border services and customs services are ready to ensure the normal passage of all means of transport, railways through the territory of Armenia," Pashinyan said.

"We expect that the Azerbaijani railway will also be open for the transportation of goods from the Republic of Armenia through Nakhichevan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, for example, to the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran. We expect this issue to be resolved on a parity basis, as I said, based on the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the countries," he added.

On his part, President Aliyev said in his meeting with Putin that he thinks "the recent statements of the Armenian leadership on the recognition of Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, as well as the recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, indicating specific figures for the area of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the issue of agreeing on other points of the peace treaty will be much smoother, because this was the main factor we could not come to an agreement on."

The Armenian Prime Minister and the Azerbaijani President will next meet in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, at the 2nd summit of the European Political Community on 1 June.

source: with office of Armenian Prime Minister, office of Azerbaijani President
photo: Kremlin photo pool