Ukraine-Russia war latest: UN, Turkey, Ukraine press ahead with Black Sea grain deal

Vladimir Putin will host talks with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Monday, a month after the worst clashes erupted between the Caucasus foes since they went to war in 2020.

The summit with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev also comes eight months into Putin’s Ukraine offensive that has made some of Russia’s allies nervous.

The trio will meet on Putin’s initiative in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The Kremlin said they would focus on discussing the implementation of agreements reached in talks under Russia’s mediation last year and “further steps to strengthen stability and security” in the region.

The Russian president would also hold talks with each leader alone, Moscow said.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a six-week war in autumn 2020 that claimed the lives of more than 6,500 troops from both sides. It ended with a Russian-brokered deal and saw Yerevan cede swathes of territory.

Last month, 286 people from both sides were killed in clashes that have jeopardised a slow peace process.

The talks come as Western leaders get more involved in mediating the decades-long conflict, with Moscow’s military focused on Ukraine.

EU chief Charles Michel and French President Emmanuel Macron mediated talks between Mr Pashinyan and Mr Aliyev in Brussels in August.

Russia and EU leaders have traded criticism of their mediation efforts in the Karabakh conflict, with Moscow and Paris in particular exchanging jabs this month.

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