Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that despite difficulties, he felt Azerbaijan and Armenia were moving towards a settlement to their decades-old conflict over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Putin made his remarks in a televised Kremlin meeting with leaders of both nations. Russia has traditionally been the main power broker between the two countries.
"In my opinion, on the whole, despite difficulties and problems, and there are enough of them, the situation is nonetheless moving towards a settlement," he said.
Next week, officials from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia would meet in a bid to ensure that "all unresolved issues will be cleared away," he added.
Putin said the three sides had discussed communications and transport in detail.
"There are still unresolved questions, but in my opinion, and we discussed this with our Azeri and our Armenian colleagues, they are of a purely technical nature," he said.
Earlier, in a clear sign of the tensions between the two nations, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev had argued in Russian for several minutes in Putin's presence.
Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan, has been a source of conflict since the years leading up to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
(With input from Reuters)
(Cover: Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) meets with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (3rd R) on the sidelines of the Eurasian Economic Union summit at the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, May 25, 2023. /Reuters)