On January 15th, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the results of the trilateral meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the settlement of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh for discussion by the Russian Security Council members.
“Vladimir Putin informed the meeting participants about the results of the trilateral talks held on January 11 with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement,” the Kremlin press service said.
On January 11th, the three leaders met to mediate the situation. Following the meeting Putin praised the progress that was made.
“I am convinced that implementing these agreements will benefit both the Armenian and Azerbaijani nations and, without a doubt, will be helpful for the region in general and, therefore, serve the interests of the Russian Federation as well,” Putin said.
President Aliyev also claimed that everything was running smoothly:
“Overall, I would like to say that the Statement of November 9 and 10 (Azerbaijani time) is being successfully implemented. Many items in this statement have been fulfilled. The Russian peacekeeping mission is working effectively. Except for a few minor incidents, there have been no serious grounds for concern during the past two months.”
Finally, Pashinyan was a bit more negative, but showed some optimism about the new settlements that were signed on January 11th:
“Unfortunately, this conflict has not been settled even up to this day. Of course, we have ensured a ceasefire, but many issues are still outstanding and must be resolved. One is the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, and we, Armenia, are certainly ready to continue the talks as the co-chairs in the OSCE Minsk Group, in part, on this issue.
Unfortunately, today we have not settled the issue of prisoners of war, and this is the most sensitive and serious issue because it is a humanitarian issue and we agreed to continue working in this area. But we believe that unfortunately item 8 of our joint Statement, for instance, is not being fully carried out, and I hope we will be able to reach a specific decision on this as soon as possible.”
Following that, on January 15th, Azerbaijani President Aliyev kept touring the “liberated areas” and celebrating victory.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva went to the city of Shusha in Karabakh.
Shusha came under the control of the Azerbaijani army on November 8 during the military escalation in Karabakh. Earlier, Aliyev declared the city the cultural capital of the country.
“We left early in the morning, direction – the city of Shusha,” Aliyev said in a video published by his wife on the social network.
Aliyev went to the Holy Savior Cathedral in Shushi, which was shelled by Azerbaijani artillery twice in one day on October 8.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced a “great return” to Nagorno-Karabakh and the start of reconstruction work after the military conflict with Armenia in the region.
“The big comeback is starting, all [rebuilding] work has begun. I am sure that as soon as we drove the enemy from our lands – in just 44 days – we will restore our historical land – Karabakh as soon as possible,” his words are quoted on the website of the head of state.
He noted that, despite the fact that two months have passed since the war, work has already begun to restore and restore the historical appearance of the city of Shusha.
Aliyev announced the laying of the foundation of a new Fizuli international airport in the region. It is planned that its runway will be operational as early as 2021. According to the President, the main goal of the airport construction is to ensure the arrival of foreign guests to Shusha.
On January 15, from Shushi to Fizuli, the foundation was laid for a new four-lane, and in some places – six-lane highway, Aliyev said.
Earlier, on January 5, Aliyev declared the city of Shusha the cultural capital of Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. The President named the restoration of historical monuments in the region as one of the main tasks of the country’s Ministry of Culture.
Separately, the Russian peacekeepers released a report on the progress of the implementation of their activities in Nagorno-Karabakh.
In total, since November 23, 2020, 526.6 hectares of territory, 198.8 km of roads, 751 housing construction, including 25 socially significant objects, have been cleared of unexploded ordnance, 23 404 explosive objects have been found and neutralized.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in an interview with the Sabah newspaper, answered a question about rumors about a larger number of Russian peacekeepers than stated in the trilateral statement.
“There have been no complaints from Azerbaijan on this issue. The main thing is that Russia has permission to travel along the Lachin corridor. But those passing through must obtain this permission from Azerbaijan,” he said.
Having once again made a cliche statement
“Karabakh is a part of Azerbaijan”, the minister noted the possibility of a special status. “Even if Karabakh has some status tomorrow, it will be within the borders of Azerbaijan,” he said. “Therefore, without the permission of Azerbaijan, this cannot be passed through the Lachin corridor. We told them “you exist as a conciliatory force, you have no competence to decide who can come or leave through the Lachin corridor,” he summed up.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- In Maps: Transport Corridors And Military Situation In Nagorno-Karabakh Region
- In Videos: Work Of Russian Peacekeepers In Nagorno-Karabakh