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Two months after Russia abetted a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the two countries’ leaders to Moscow in order to negotiate the next steps in maintaining the peace in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The four-hour meeting signaled the first time the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met face to face since the end of the six-week war, which terminated in a victory for Baku. After the meeting, Putin revealed that a joint statement on the development of Nagorno-Karabakh had been signed by the three parties.
Although it has not been published yet, the Russian president explained that it includes steps to develop economic ties and infrastructure projects.
At the start of the trilateral talks, Aliyev and Pashinyan didn’t shake hands as they took their places around a table in the Kremlin.
Putin made a statement before the discussions began, noting the importance of determining “future steps” after November’s truce. He also revealed that 48,000 refugees returned to Nagorno-Karabakh when the fighting ended and an international humanitarian response center was created to help restore heat and electricity, among other initiatives.