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Kremlin Hails 'Very Positive' Progress on Armenia-Azerbaijan Talks

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (R) and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan are welcomed by the President of the European Council Charles Michel (C) ahead of a joint meeting at the European Council in Brussels. EPA / TASS

The Kremlin on Thursday hailed what it called very positive progress on preparing for peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"The progress on concluding such a document is a very, very positive fact and is welcomed," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, while acknowledging "this is a very, very lengthy process."

Officials in the neighboring Caucasus countries said Thursday that they are preparing for peace talks, after a flare-up last month in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region over which they fought a 2020 war.

Armenia Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met Wednesday in Brussels for rare talks mediated by the European Council President Charles Michel.

In 2020, the countries ended a war that claimed more than 6,500 lives with a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement.

Ethnic Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The ensuing conflicts claimed around 30,000 lives.

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