By Vugar Khalilov
On June 3, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia held the 10th meeting
of the trilateral working group on the opening of regional
transport communications in Moscow.
'The parties discussed and brought closer their positions on
issues of border, customs, and other types of control, as well as
the safe passage of citizens, vehicles, and goods on roads and
railways through the territories of the Azerbaijani Republic and
the Republic of Armenia,' the Russian government website reports .
The Trilateral Working Group met for the tenth time on June 3,
2022, co-chaired by Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian Deputy Prime
Ministers Shahin Mustafayev, Mger Grigoryan and Alexei Overchuk to
discuss the border issues, the report added.
The parties discussed and coordinated views on borders, customs,
and other kinds of control, as well as safe transit of people,
cars, and goods by roads and railways through the territories of
Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Moreover, the parties discussed prospective routes for highways
that would connect Azerbaijan's western regions with its Nakhchivan
exclave via Armenia.
The parties agreed to keep working to execute the agreements
reached by the Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian leaders on the
opening of regional transportation linkages.
At a summit in Moscow on January 11, 2021, the leaders of
Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan agreed to form a working group at
the level of the three countries' deputy prime ministers to focus
on the construction of transport and economic ties between
Azerbaijan and Armenia.
In May, Azerbaijan and Armenia announced the creation of border
delimitation commissions following the Brussels meeting under the
auspices of EU Council President Charles Michel. The first meeting
of the commissions took place on May 24.
The parties confirmed their willingness to cooperate on
delimitation and other matters within the commission's framework.
The conference also discussed the commission's joint operations'
organizational and procedural difficulties.
A high-ranking EU official, who wished anonymous, said that
Brussels does not and will not coordinate its measures with Moscow
on the topic of normalization of the Armenian-Azerbaijani ties,
Azernews reports citing foreign media.
The European diplomat claimed that in view of the latest
geopolitical processes, both Yerevan and Baku are now cautious
about the Kremlin.
“Russia may have stopped the [44-day] war, but obviously the
continuation of the process is happening in Brussels, not in
Moscow. And the fact that the sides come to Brussels so often is
one indication of that,' he added.
Over the previous six months, the Armenian and Azerbaijani
leaders met three times through the mediation of European Council
President Charles Michel, with the latest two sessions taking place
in the midst of Western-Russian tensions over Ukraine.
Moscow expressed apparent displeasure with Brussels' mediation
attempts. Several weeks ago, the Russian Foreign Ministry publicly
accused the West of 'shamelessly trying to appropriate the subject
of the well-known Russia-Azerbaijan-Armenia high-level agreements,'
claiming that Washington and Brussels have increased their
diplomatic activity by refusing to cooperate with Russia in the
OSCE Minsk Group.
Earlier, during a meeting with his Armenian counterpart, the
Russian foreign minister openly stated the same.
'I do not know what the future fate of the Minsk Group will be,
because our so-called French and American partners in this group in
a Russophobic frenzy, in a desire to cancel everything and
everything that concerns Russia, canceled the three co-chairs of
the OSCE Minsk Group, saying that they will not communicate in this
format,' Lavrov said.
Brussels also believes that, while the Minsk Group's de jure
mediation framework exists, it is not functioning in practice.
Apparently, the West is not willing to cooperate with Russia after
its invasion of Ukraine.
The future status of Karabakh is one of the most controversial
topics in the peace talks between Baku and Yerevan. The former
argues that such a situation no longer exists, but the latter asks
that the security and rights of Armenians in Karabakh, as well as
the status question, should be addressed first.
Referring to these disputes, the president of the European
Council stated that the fundamental issues must be examined and
resolved by all parties concerned in order for a long-term solution
to the conflict to be reached.
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