Nagorno-Karabakh Peace Plan On Agenda Of Putin-Sarkisian Talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian are meeting on August 10 to discuss Armenia’s ongoing dispute over Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Moscow meeting comes two days after Putin discussed an OSCE-sponsored peace plan in Baku with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Iranian President Hassan Rohani.

It also comes a day after Putin vowed closer relations with Ankara at talks in St. Petersburg with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an ally of Azerbaijan.

Armenian-backed separatists seized the mainly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan during a war in the early 1990s that killed some 30,000 people.

The OSCE-sponsored peace plan — pushed by Russia with the support of France and the United States — proposes that Armenia give up occupied territory adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh in exchange for concessions from Azerbaijan on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh itself.

Aliyev told Putin on August 8 that the “existing status quo is unacceptable” in the region and that “Azerbaijan’s occupied territories must be liberated.”

But Sarkisian faces political opposition in Armenia over the idea of returning to Azerbaijan any territory Armenian forces have occupied since the early 1990s.

Source: 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.