Armenia and Azerbaijan pledge 'not to use force' over Nagorno-Karabakh region

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday he hopes for "normalisation" of ties between rivals Armenia and Azerbaijan who pledged not to resort to force in their territorial dispute after tripartite talks, reasserting Moscow's role as Caucasus powerbroker.

The summit was held as Western engagement grows in the volatile Caucasus region, where Russia – distracted by its war in Ukraine – is palpably losing influence after decades of domination.

The initiative comes a month after the worst clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan since their war in 2020.

"It was a very useful meeting that created a very good atmosphere for possible future agreements," the Russian president told journalists.

"Russia will do everything to find a definitive and comprehensive settlement" of the conflict, he said. "It is in everyone's interest to normalise relations.

"We will remain in contact and continue the dialogue and the search for the necessary solutions to put an end to this conflict," Putin said.

In a joint declaration after the Russian-mediated talks, Armenia and Azerbaijan "agreed not to use force" to resolve their dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory.

They also agreed "to settle all disputes solely on the basis of the recognition of mutual sovereignty and territorial integration".

Both countries stressed "the importance of active preparations for the conclusion of a peace agreement... to guarantee lasting and long-term peace in the region".

"The most important is to ensure peace and create conditions for development," he told Pashinyan.

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