Armenia Snubs Putin, Won't Talk With Azerbaijan To Cut Peace Deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be facing another diplomatic setback amid his faltering, ongoing invasion of neighboring Ukraine, Nick Reynolds reported for Newsweek.
Photo Insert: The Lachin corridor has since inspired accusations of impropriety from both sides that threaten the integrity of the talks, and it creates a new headache for Putin as he seeks to consolidate his allies behind him in his ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that Armenia, an ally of Russia, is refusing to take part in trilateral talks with Azerbaijan this week as Moscow seeks to broker a permanent peace between the two warring nations.
Both are currently locked in a Russian-brokered cease-fire in their ongoing conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in the southern Caucasus, located due southeast of Ukraine across the Black Sea.
However, tensions between the two warring nations were reignited earlier this month, including a number of Azerbaijani-aligned protests along a shared arterial road between Armenia and the contested region, over what demonstrators claimed to be illegal mining activity.
The blockade on the road—known as the Lachin corridor—has since inspired accusations of impropriety from both sides that threaten the integrity of the talks, and it creates a new headache for Putin as he seeks to consolidate his allies behind him in his ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
But it also creates the potential for further destabilization in a region that has experienced near-constant strife since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, causing disruptions to natural gas supplies and other necessities for residents in the region in what Armenian ambassadors describe as an evolving humanitarian crisis.
"Let me be clear: Impediments to the use of the Lachin corridor sets back the peace process," Robert Wood, a US ambassador to the United Nations, said in prepared remarks to members of the UN Security Council earlier this week.