Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed confidence during a joint press conference with the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, that a trilateral meeting consisting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia will be held, Trend News Agency reported on Friday.
“You have said that, according to the Kremlin’s comment on a possible upcoming trilateral meeting, a consensus is required for this meeting,” Lavrov said.
“I can confirm that to obtain a consensus, all those who are going to meet must agree with this,” the Russian foreign minister added.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia 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.
When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the nearly three-decade occupation.
Last Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.
On Jan. 11, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a pact to develop economic ties and infrastructure to benefit the entire region. It included the establishment of a trilateral working group on Karabakh.
The cease-fire is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces withdrew in line with the agreement.
Prior to this victory, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory had been under illegal occupation for nearly 30 years.