Generally seen as a warmonger in the Ukraine conflict, Russia plans to play the role of peacemaker in another ex-Soviet conflict that could be spiralling out of control.
Longtime enemies Armenia and Azerbaijan are feared to be back on the verge of war over the breakaway territory of Nagorno Karabakh and seven adjoining regions after the worst flare-up in fatal ceasefire violations in 20 years.
That gives an opening to Russia, one of three countries (along with the US and France) charged with keeping negotiations afloat between Baku and Yerevan. Russian President Vladimir Putin this week will meet in Sochi separately with Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s Serzh Sargsyan, Moscow has announced. A chat which, “when they all appear in the same place and at the same time,” doubtlessly will get down to Karabakh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the ITAR-TASS news agency.
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