Russia will today meet with Azerbaijan and Armenia in Sochi, Russia.
Russian President Putin invited the two countries to participate in trilateral talks last month while addressing a summit of formerly Soviet states, intending to strengthen stability and security in the Transcaucasus. Clashes between Baku and Yerevan flared up again earlier this year after several attacks occurred on their shared border, ending a Russia-brokered cease-fire.
Russian peacekeeping efforts in the region have been questioned by both sides after it redeployed some of its peacekeeping forces in the region to Ukraine. Armenia has accused the remaining troops of inaction in the face of Azerbaijani cease-fire violations, while many in Azerbaijan still resent Moscow for supporting Armenian control of disputed region Nagorno-Karabakh in the 1994 war. The EU has worked to fill Russia’s diplomatic gap, sending an observer mission last month.
The Sochi trilateral meeting will aim to find common ground between the two countries, likely using the five principles for peace which Azerbaijan submitted to Armenia earlier this year as a basis. The EU will likely deepen its diplomatic efforts in the region, although its increasing reliance on Azerbaijan for natural gas reserves risks accusations of a conflict of interest.
Laurence is an Analyst and weekly contributor to The Daily Brief, he focuses on geopolitical and economic issues occuring in Europe and Eurasia.