New South Caucasus trilateral expert subgroups to meet

Press Office of Armenia
Photo: Press Office of Armenia

The first meeting of the expert subgroups of the newly established trilateral group comprised of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia will take place today.

The trilateral group met for the first time on January 31 at a meeting co-chaired by the deputy prime ministers of the three countries. There, parties agreed to establish expert subgroups related to railway, auto and intermodal transportation as well as regional regulation concerning security and border control. Today’s meetings come just two months after a Russia-brokered ceasefire ended the 44-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh, which resulted in major territorial losses for Yerevan and damage to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s reputation.

Expect today’s meetings to focus on efforts to fulfill commitments by Armenia to provide Azerbaijan with a safe transport link through its territory to the exclave of Nakhchivan. If successful, the opening of cross-border transport links is likely to improve the economic outlook and normalise trade within the region. Additionally, the March 1 deadline for unblocking the transport corridor is expected to further cooperation and concessions, likely from Pashinyan. For now, several political challenges remain, with Pashinyan facing heavy criticism domestically, including demands for his resignation. Expect a call from the premier for snap elections later this year in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

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