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Press statements following talks with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan

January 11, 2021, The Kremlin, Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: First of all, I would like to thank my colleagues, both the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia, for agreeing to come to Moscow today and have a meeting to discuss issues related to fulfilling the terms of our peace agreement of November 9, 2020.

We came to the conclusion that overall, the terms of this agreement have been observed and there have been no serious incidents. Russia’s peacekeeping group is meeting its obligations in full to both parties. As I said at the beginning of this meeting, more than 48,000 displaced persons and refugees have already returned to Nagorno-Karabakh. The work to rebuild infrastructure, power facilities, housing and social infrastructure is in full swing.

I find this meeting extremely important and useful because we managed to agree and sign a joint statement on the developments in the region. I am talking about specific steps to establish economic ties and develop infrastructure projects. A working group will be created for this purpose and will be headed by the deputy prime ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. They will soon create ad hoc sub-groups within the working group and present specific plans for developing the transport infrastructure and the economy in the region.

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.

Thank you.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev: Mr President Putin,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your invitation and the initiative to hold this meeting. I also share your opinion that this meeting was very important for ensuring the further sustainable and safe development of our region.

Two months have passed since the ceasefire was announced, and the fact that the leaders of the three countries that signed the Statement of November 9–10 have gathered in Moscow today shows that we are willing to achieve results and draw a line under the actions that took place in September-November. The statement that was signed today reflects our intentions, because one of the items in the statement following the cessation of hostilities was on the unblocking of transport connections.

This is an important area that will help us achieve the dynamics to resume the region’s development and enhance security, and the opening of transport links meets the interests of the people of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia and our other neighbours. I am sure that the neighbouring countries will also join our efforts to resume transport corridors and develop a diverse network of transport arteries in our region.

We must continue striving to find fields of activities that will produce quick effects and are oriented to results.

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.

All this creates the confidence that, as President Putin said, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will remain in the past and that we must think about the future – how to live next to each other, how to strive for unblocking transport arteries and enhancing regional stability and security in the future.

Mr President Putin, I would like to thank you once again for the invitation and I believe our meeting has been very useful and productive.

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan: Mr President Putin,

First, let me thank you for all the efforts you are making to restore stability and security in our region and to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

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.

I can say that the Statement we signed today is very important indeed. I will say that the implementation of the agreements in this Statement could change the economic profile of our region and that the economic changes could produce even more reliable security guarantees. We will certainly work constructively to this end, but, as I said, unfortunately, it is impossible to resolve all the problems at one meeting.

I hope we will continue moving forward. I would like to emphasise again that for us the main issues today are humanitarian, notably, the exchange of prisoners of war as envisaged in item 8 of our November 9–10 joint Statement.

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I would like to once again thank my colleagues for today’s generally constructive work.

Thank you.

January 11, 2021, The Kremlin, Moscow