Putin, Pashinyan, Aliyev discuss Karabakh settlement

Putin, Pashinyan, Aliyev discuss Karabakh settlement
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Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents held a trilateral conversation on Monday ahead of a CIS summit to discuss the blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh

The leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan discussed on Monday the settlement of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh during an informal CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) summit in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, Russian news agencies reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday that they would discuss the settlement in the South Caucasus, Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, Tass said, noting that on the eve of the informal CIS summit, a trilateral conversation was held with Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

"Yesterday we started [a conversation], and the three of us managed to talk. Of course, the main issue is the settlement of the situation in the South Caucasus as a whole, Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, everything related to Karabakh," Putin said, opening the bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Armenia.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that the Lachin corridor has not been out of control of the military personnel of the Russian peacekeeping contingent for 20 days already and that it is necessary to look for ways to solve the problem.

“At the moment, the most important issue is the crisis in the Lachin corridor. You know that it has been blocked for almost 20 days,” the Prime Minister said.

On Sunday, thousands of people gathered in Stepanakert, the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, to stage a demonstration in protest against the blocking of the Lachin road, which is the sole lifeline of the region.

The road is blocked by Azerbaijani government-sponsored protesters who claim that gold and copper molybdenum deposits in the region are illegally exploited by Nagorno-Karabakh's authorities and sent to Armenia via the Lachin road.

Armenian officials say that the shortage of essential goods, particularly food, in Nagorno-Karabakh is getting worse and turning into a famine with the transportation between Armenia and the region disrupted.