Putin: Russia can mediate Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict; Yerevan unhappy with Moscow

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan blame each other for the deadliest clashes between them since a six-week war over Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020 left thousands dead.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attend a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022. (photo credit: SPUTNIK/ALEXANDER DEMYANCHUK/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attend a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022.
(photo credit: SPUTNIK/ALEXANDER DEMYANCHUK/POOL VIA REUTERS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that despite the Ukraine conflict, Moscow had enough resources to mediate a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan after a series of border skirmishes.

The fighting ended in a ceasefire two days ago after more than 200 people were killed in fighting linked to a decades-old struggle over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told Putin on Friday that the conflict had "stabilized."

What is the history of the tensions between Armenia and Azebaijan?

Both sides blame each other for the deadliest clashes between them since a six-week war over Karabakh in 2020 left thousands dead.

An Azeri soldier inspects the city of Cebrayil, where Azeri forces regained control during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, October 16, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/UMIT BEKTAS)An Azeri soldier inspects the city of Cebrayil, where Azeri forces regained control during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, October 16, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/UMIT BEKTAS)

Russia is a military ally of Armenia which also strives for friendly relations with Azerbaijan.

"Under the influence of Russia, this conflict was localized. I hope this continues to be the case," Putin told reporters after a regional summit in Uzbekistan.

Asked whether Russia had the resources to maintain its influence in the region given Moscow's focus on the conflict in Ukraine, he replied: "As you can see, there are enough."

But in a sign of potential challenges, a senior Armenian official expressed unhappiness with the response of a Russian-led military alliance to Yerevan's request for help, Interfax news agency reported.

Armenia asked the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) to intervene, but so far it has just sent a fact-finding team to the region.

"We are very dissatisfied, of course. The expectations we had were not justified," parliamentary speaker Alen Simonyan told national television, likening the CSTO to a pistol that did not shoot bullets, Interfax said.

Noting Armenia also had a treaty on mutual assistance with Russia, he said "we expect more tangible steps from our Russian partners, not just statements or half words."

"We expect more tangible steps from our Russian partners, not just statements or half words."

Armenian parliamentary speaker Alen Simonyan

Putin held a phone call with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday to discuss the clashes and Pashinyan also talked to French President Emmanuel Macron and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Yerevan said.

Macron's office said he had reaffirmed French support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Armenia. 

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday confirmed she would make a snap visit to Armenia this weekend.