Russian president, Armenian prime minister speak over phone
Putin, Pashinyan discuss situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian-led military bloc's peacekeeping mission in Kazakhstan
Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.
Putin and Pashinyan discussed the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) peace-keeping mission in Kazakhstan and the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, a Kremlin statement said.
"Taking into account Armenia's chairmanship in the Collective Security Treaty Organization, an exchange of views was held on the progress of the CSTO peacekeeping operation in Kazakhstan. Effective coordinated actions of the peacekeeping contingent contributing to the normalization of the situation in the republic were noted.
"The current situation around Nagorno-Karabakh and some issues of implementation of the agreements recorded in the statements of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, dated Nov. 9, 2020, Jan. 11, and Nov. 26, 2021, were discussed," it said.
On Jan. 2, protests broke out in Kazakhstan over a rise in liquefied petroleum gas prices (LPG) in the city of Zhanaozen in Mangystau, which later turned into clashes with the police, with the most violent developments in Kazakhstan's former capital Almaty.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev requested help from the CSTO allies and in a short period, peacekeepers from Russia, Belarus, Armenia, and Tajikistan arrived in the country and backed the Kazakh law enforcement in restoring order.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
Their most recent clashes were in September 2020, during which Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia for nearly three decades.
A Russia-brokered deal brought an end to 44 days of intense conflict in November 2020.