Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan discussed the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region at a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.
Putin said ahead of the meeting that Russia is one of the principal investors to the Armenian economy, as 40% of all investments in the country are of Russian origin.
He noted that the bilateral trade turnover between Russia and Armenia dropped last year because of the pandemic, and expressed hope that it will recover soon.
Pashinyan agreed with Putin, saying the economic relations are important and that he was going to discuss with Putin the construction of a power plant in Armenia.
Praising Russia’s efforts in Karabakh, Pashinyan said “the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh is becoming an important factor of stability and security in the region.”
Pashinyan said the Nagorno-Karabakh problem has not been solved yet and noted that the exchange of detainees is one of the current problems.
“There is a problem that has not yet been solved. The problem is the exchange of prisoners and other detainees. They were supposed to return to their homeland, but unfortunately, they are still located in Azerbaijan,” he said.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27 last year, Armenia launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, and even violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the six week-conflict, which ended with a Russian-brokered truce, Azerbaijan liberated several strategic cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from Armenian occupation. The two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10 to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.
A joint Turkish-Russian center was established to monitor the truce. Russian peacekeeping troops have also been deployed in the region.
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