MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced in Moscow on Monday the signing of a joint statement aimed at developing the region.
In the statement issued after the meeting that lasted for about four hours, they said the Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani governments will set up a joint “working group” that will deal with practical modalities of restoring transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
According to the statement, the group will submit by March 1 a timetable of “measures envisaging the restoration and construction of new transport infrastructure facilities” in line with the November 9 ceasefire deal. The group is to comprise teams of experts who will calculate the cost of these projects.
“I consider today’s meeting extremely important and useful, because we were able to agree on and signed a joint statement on the development of the situation in the region. I mean concrete steps to build economic ties, develop infrastructure projects. For this purpose, a working group will be created, headed by vice-prime ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia,” Putin said at a press briefing following the trilateral meeting.
According to him, they will set up working expert subgroups in the near future, present concrete plans for the development of transport infrastructure and the region’s economy.
“I am sure that the implementation of these agreements will benefit both the Armenian and Azerbaijani people, and without any doubt, will benefit the region as a whole, and hence the interests of the Russian Federation,” Putin said.
He noted that the Russian peacekeeping group fully fulfills its obligations to both sides.
“As I said at the beginning of our meeting today, over 48 thousand displaced persons and refugees have already returned to Nagorno-Karabakh. Persistent work is underway to restore infrastructure, energy, housing, social infrastructure,” Putin said.
The full text of the statement states:
“We, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan I. H. Aliyev, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia N. V. Pashinyan and President of the Russian Federation V. V. Putin declare the following:
- In order to implement part of point 9 of the Statement of November 9, 2020 regarding the unblocking of all economic and transportation routes in the region, we support the proposal of the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin on the establishment of a tripartite Working Group under the joint chairmanship of the Vice-Prime Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
- The Working Group will hold the first meeting until January 30, 2021, based on the results of which it will form a list of the main areas of work arising from the implementation of point 9 of the Statement, setting railway and road communications as priorities, and will also determine other areas as agreed between the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic Armenia and the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the Parties.
- In order to implement the main directions of activity, the co-chairs of the Working Group will approve the composition of the expert subgroups in these areas made of officials of the competent authorities and organizations of the Parties. The expert subgroups, within a month after the meeting of the Working Group, will present a list of projects with justification of the necessary resources and activities for their implementation and approval at the highest level by the Parties.
- The Working Group, by March 1, 2021, will submit for approval at the highest level by the Parties a list and a schedule for the implementation of measures involving the restoration and construction of new transport infrastructure facilities necessary for the organization, implementation and security of international traffic carried out through the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, as well as transportations carried out by the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, which require crossing the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia. “