On the impact of the continuing clashes.. new talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan will hold new talks tomorrow, Friday, in Moscow, as part of a series of international diplomatic efforts to bring the two neighboring countries in the South Caucasus closer together and in light of the renewed tension between them. The talks come while frequent clashes are still recorded in the border areas between the two countries, where he was killed The most recent of which was an Armenian soldier on Wednesday.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow will host, on Friday, a tripartite meeting and separate bilateral meetings between the foreign ministers of Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijan, Jeyhun Bayramov, and their Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.

In the latest confrontations between Baku and Yerevan, the Armenian Ministry of Defense announced that one of its soldiers “died while being transported to hospital after being wounded by Azerbaijani forces firing” at the common border of the two countries.

Interfax quoted the Armenian Ministry of Defense as saying that shells hit the village of Sotak, near the border. The agency stated that Azerbaijan denied the Armenian accusations, describing them as “pure lies.”

Last week, an Armenian and an Azerbaijani soldier were killed in border clashes, with both sides repeatedly accusing each other of escalating attacks.

The two former Soviet republics fought two wars – the early 1990s and 2020 – to control the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is inhabited by an Armenian majority and unilaterally separated from Azerbaijan 3 decades ago.

After a lightning war during which Baku took control of large lands in the region in the fall of 2020, Baku and Yerevan signed a ceasefire with Russian mediation, but the border areas between the two countries are still witnessing frequent skirmishes.

The clashes came last week, days before a meeting in Brussels on May 14 between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, under the auspices of European Council President Charles Michel. This was the fifth meeting of its kind within the framework of European mediation.

In early May, Washington hosted four-day talks between two delegations from the two countries. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the time expressed his pleasure at making “tangible progress,” considering that it was possible to reach a peace agreement.

It is expected that a new meeting will be held between Pashinyan and Aliyev on the first of next June in Moldova, in the presence of Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Schultz, on the sidelines of a summit of the European Political Group.

Moscow views Western initiatives between the two parties with suspicion, considering the Caucasus as its backyard at the strategic level.

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