Russia's Putin to visit Armenia on Nov 22, set to discuss clashes - RIA

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of Federal Medical-Biological Agency in Moscow

(Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the small ex-Soviet state of Armenia on Nov. 22 for talks, RIA news agency said on Wednesday, indicating that clashes with neighbouring Azerbaijan would be on the agenda.

RIA, citing the Armenian government's news service, said Putin spoke to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and discussed events since the two leaders held trilateral talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Oct. 31.

At that meeting, Aliyev and Pashinyan agreed not to use force and stick to earlier agreements that sought to end recent fighting between the two nations.

RIA said Putin would stay on in Yerevan for a Nov. 23 meeting of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) military alliance, which includes Armenia but not Azerbaijan.

In September, a senior Armenian official expressed unhappiness with the CSTO's response to a request from Yerevan for help. Yerevan wanted the grouping to intervene, but so far it has just sent a fact-finding team to the region.

The clashes are linked to decades-old hostilities over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but until 2020 largely controlled by the majority ethnic Armenian population.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday praised Armenia and Azerbaijan for taking "courageous steps" towards a durable peace. He spoke as foreign ministers from the two countries met in Washington.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alex Richardson)