Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia are reportedly close to signing a new agreement on the demarcation and delimitation of borders and the opening of transport links. According to Russian and Armenian news outlets, the agreement is set to be announced on the anniversary of the Russia-brokered ceasefire.
Russian state-run RIA Novosti wrote on Saturday that the trilateral meeting will be held in the first ten days of November. According to an unnamed source ‘familiar with the matter’, at this meeting, Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan will sign a new agreement.
On 22 October, Armenian news outlet Aliq Media, citing unnamed ‘reliable diplomatic sources’ reported that the three countries will sign two new documents in early November.
The first will concern border delimitation and demarcation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, according to which ‘Yerevan and Baku will recognise each other's borders and territorial integrity, based on the maps of the General Staff of the Soviet Defense Ministry of the 1920s’.
The second will reportedly secure an opening of transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan, specifically, allowing for a transport link between Azerbaijan’s western regions and Nakhchivan through southern Armenia, as well as giving Armenia a connection to Iran and Russia through Azerbaijan.
The possibility of a transport connection between Nakhchivan and Azerbaijan’s western regions has been a point of contention between Armenia and Azerbaijan in recent months, with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev demanding a ‘corridor’, which he also threatened to establish by military force. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has previously denied that such a transport connection would constitute a ‘corridor’.
No official confirmation of any of these claims has yet been forthcoming from any of the three countries. However, speaking with RIA Novosti, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that if an agreement on a trilateral meeting is reached ‘the Kremlin will report on it in due time’.
Earlier this autumn, both Pashinyan and Aliyev made comments stating that they were ready to meet.
On 22 October, Armenia and Russia started joint military exercises in the province of Syunik, near the border with Azerbaijan. The exercises have the participation of ‘almost all military units’ of the Armenian armed forces as well as Russian forces from the 102nd military base in Gyumri.
According to Tigran Parvanyan, the commander of joint Russian-Armenian forces, the exercises are part of an annual plan of military cooperation between Russia and Armenia.