Armenia-Azerbaijan: Russia’s Putin speaks by phone with President Azeri

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with his counterpart Azeri Ilham Aliyev and noted the importance of ensuring stability and security in the southern Caucasus region, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Tensions have been running high between Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, where the majority of the population is Armenian but internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

In 2020, Azerbaijan recaptured territory in and around it after a war that ended in a cease-fire brokered by Moscow and maintained by Russian peacekeepers. Both sides accuse each other of violations and Armenia now says Azerbaijan is blocking off the only road to Nagorno-Karabakh, a charge Baku denies.

“The importance of consistent steps to ensure stability and security on the Azerbaijan-Armenian border has been noted,” the Kremlin said in a statement on the phone call between Putin and Aliyev.

“In this context, we reaffirm that all relevant agreements between Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia at the highest level should be implemented unconditionally.”

Late last month, Yerevan asked Putin to take a tougher line on Nagorno-Karabakh and asked Russian peacekeepers to end what they called the blockade.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Alistair Bell)

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