MOSCOW — The Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani working group co-headed by deputy prime ministers of the three states had another round of talks on October 20 in Moscow to consider the prospects for the restoration of transport communications in the South Caucasus region, the Armenian government said.
Deputy Prime Ministers of Armenia Mher Grigoryan, Russia Alexey Overchuk and Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayet, did not announce any agreements in a statement on their latest meeting issued late on Wednesday. It said the three parties agreed to meet again soon.
The trilateral group has been discussing practical modalities of opening the Armenian-Azerbaijani border for commercial traffic in line with the Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped the Karabakh war last November.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly claimed that the deal envisages a permanent land “corridor” that will connect the Nakhichevan exclave to the rest of Azerbaijan via Armenia’s Syunik province also bordering Iran. He has threatened to forcibly open such a corridor if the Armenian side continues to oppose its creation.
Armenian leaders have denounced Aliyev’s threats as territorial claims, saying that the truce accord only calls for transport links between the two South Caucasus states.
“I repeat that the issue of providing corridors is not discussed,” Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigorian told journalists before flying to Moscow on Tuesday.
Under the November 10, 2020 ceasefire agreement, signed by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Armenia is to open rail and road links between Azerbaijan and its Nakhichevan exclave through its territory. Armenia for its part should be able to use Azerbaijani territory as a transit route for cargo shipments to and from Russia and Iran.
Russian co-chairman of the group Alexey Overchuk stated on October 18 in Yerevan that the issue of a corridor through the territory of Armenia for Azerbaijan was not discussed.