Six months after war: Azerbaijan and Russia on guard for peace in South Caucasus

Six months after war: Azerbaijan and Russia on guard for peace in South Caucasus

Six months after the end of the Second Karabakh War, Russia and Azerbaijan summed up the results of the first months of restoring a peaceful and stable life in the South Caucasus and outlined the prospects for the foreseeable future. In the morning, after President Ilham Aliyev visited the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, he held phone talks with President Vladimir Putin, and in the evening he held a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Baku. The talks focused on Russian-Azerbaijani efforts to advance post-conflict processes in the region and countering attempts to destabilize the situation.

"Armenian railways are owned by Russian railways. This means that Armenian railways belong to them. Therefore, we are discussing this issue mainly with the Russian side. Our next historic achievement will be to connect Zangilan, located in the Eastern Zangazur region, with our ancient lands of Western Zangazur and then with Nakhchivan and Turkey through Ordubad," Ilham Aliyev said in Nakhchivan.

"There is no territorial unit called Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan. The conflict has been resolved, and I think that there is no point in returning to this issue. In any case, we showed it during the post-war period. If someone thinks that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has not been resolved, it is their own problem. On 10 November, a document was signed on the de facto settlement of the conflict. I believe that the parties involved in this issue and the countries that want to deal with this issue – I do not know for what reason – should take this into account," he stressed.

The Azerbaijani leader denounced the statement from Canada and France. "They should mind their own business. This ugly campaign against Azerbaijan over this Military Trophy Park must be stopped. A French museum displays the skulls of slain leaders of the Algerian National Resistance Movement. Go and look in the mirror. Regarding certain politicians talking about the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, a non-existent entity –I have also said that if someone wants to give the Armenians living in our territory a status, I don’t mind that, but let them choose a good place for that in their own country. Those places have long been occupied by the Armenian diaspora. Let them give them an autonomy or independence there, not in Azerbaijan. This will not happen in Azerbaijan," Ilham Aliyev concluded.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has phoned President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev yesterday. The conversation took place shortly before Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's arrival in Baku.

According to the Kremlin, Putin and Aliyev "warmly congratulated each other on the 76th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War."

At the same time, the leaders noted that the memory of the heroism of the soldiers-liberators is sacredly honored both in Russia and in Azerbaijan, and the citizens are deeply grateful to the veterans for their unparalleled heroism during the war.

The press service of the Russian president also drew attention to the fact that Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev reaffirmed their mutual disposition "to build up comprehensive Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation."

Concluding the conversation, the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan agreed to continue further contacts between the countries at various levels.

Today Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by Sergey Lavrov in Baku. Ilham Aliyev has pointed out that his country is enjoying positive dynamics in relations with Russia. "It has been half a year since your last visit and we are pleased to point out the ongoing positive dynamics in our relations," Aliyev said during his meeting with Lavrov.

Aliyev recalled that he held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May. "We have congratulated each other personally with our common Victory, the victory over fascism," he said.

The Russian diplomat noted that the border issues in Nagorno-Karabakh are solvable in spite of their complexity.

"We are grateful for the high appreciation of our peacekeepers’ role. We will do our best so that, as you have stressed, everyone can proceed from that fact that the military issues are closed. Now we need to address the details ‘on the ground.’ There are delimitations, demarcations [of the border]. It is not so simple, but everything is solvable, in our conviction. Military experts alongside diplomats can agree on mutually acceptable solutions," Lavrov stressed.