YEREVAN — Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk paid visits to Azerbaijan and Armenia on Wednesday to meet with the two countries’ leaders ahead of their talks to be hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin later this week.
Overchuk, who co-heads a Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani working group dealing with regional unblocking, in Yerevan discussed prospects of restoring transport links in the South Caucasus with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the latter’s press office said.
“The further course of the work carried out within the framework of the trilateral statement of January 11  was also on the agenda of the meeting,” the statement added.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko accompanied Overchuk at the meeting during which the two sides also reportedly discussed issues on the agenda of bilateral cooperation between Armenia and Russia.
Earlier on November 24 Overchuk was in Baku where he met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
Quoting Aliyev’s press office, Azerbaijani media reported that during the meeting in Baku the two “exchanged views” on the activities of the trilateral working group and “expressed confidence that unblocking of transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan soon will contribute to stability and economic development in the region.”
Restoration of economic and transport links in the region is one of the provisions of the Russia-brokered ceasefire agreement that stopped a 44-day Armenian-Azerbaijani war in Nagorno-Karabakh last November.
Visiting Yerevan earlier this month, Overchuk effectively backed Armenia’s position. “It seems to us that we are getting close to concrete decisions, which are first and foremost based on the notion that the countries will retain sovereignty over roads passing through their territory,” Russia’s deputy prime minister said during a meeting with Pashinyan on November 5.