Putin talks to Azeri president, discusses disputed southern Caucasus region

Russian President Vladimir Putin talked to Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev and noted the importance of ensuring stability and security in the southern Caucasus region, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Tensions are high between Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has a largely ethnic Armenian population but is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

In 2020, Azerbaijan retook territory in and around the enclave after a war that ended in a Moscow-brokered ceasefire upheld by Russian peacekeepers. Both sides accuse each other of violations and Armenia now says Azerbaijan is blockading the only road into Nagorno-Karabakh, a charge Baku denies.

“The importance of consistent steps to ensure stability and security on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border was noted,” said a Kremlin readout of the call between Putin and Aliyev.

“In this context, it was reaffirmed that all the relevant agreements between Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia at the highest level should be implemented unconditionally.”

Late last month Yerevan asked Putin to take a tougher line on Nagorno-Karabakh and for Russian peacekeepers to end what it called the blockade.

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