Russian President Vladimir Putin separately spoke over the phone with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday

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Putin speaks with Azerbaijani, Armenian leaders

Russian President Vladimir Putin separately spoke over the phone with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday and discussed the latest developments in the Upper Karabakh region.

“It was noted with satisfaction that the cease-fire regime was fully complied with and that the situation in the region remained generally stable and calm,” a Kremlin statement said.

Issues related to the unblocking of economic and transport links in the South Caucasus were also discussed during the phone calls, the statement added.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27 last year, Armenia launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and even violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the six week-conflict, which ended with a Russian-brokered truce, Azerbaijan liberated several strategic cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from Armenian occupation. The two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10 to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

A joint Turkish-Russian center was established to monitor the truce. Russian peacekeeping troops have also been deployed in the region.

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