MOSCOW — A trilateral meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will take place in Sochi on November 26, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.
“It is planned to discuss the implementation of the agreements reached on November 9  and January 11  as well as to outline further steps to strengthen stability and establish a peaceful life in the region,” the statement said, adding that the talks will be held upon the initiative of the Russian president.
The Kremlin also said that the Russian president will hold bilateral meetings with Pashinyan and Aliyev.
In early November Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that a trilateral meeting of the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia was being prepared in Moscow. Russian state television Rossia 1 even reported then that the meeting could take place on the first anniversary of the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire on November 9. Shortly after that announcement Armenia’s prime minister denied that there was any agreement about such a meeting. No meeting eventually took place.
Meanwhile, the European Union said on Friday that during phone talks with Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, earlier last week Pashinyan and Aliyev agreed to meet on the sidelines of the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels on December 15.
“During the phone calls, the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders have also agreed to establish a direct communication line, at the level of respective Ministers of Defense, to serve as an incident prevention mechanism,” the EU said.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Pashinyan confirmed that there was in fact a planned meeting with Aliyev and Putin on Nov. 9, 2021 – on the one year anniversary of the Second Karabakh War. Pashinyan says he communicated that he would only participate if there was an expectation that a solution on certain issues, such as POWs, would be reached. According to the prime minister, once he realized that this would not be possible, he decided to postpone the meeting to a less symbolic date.