Moscow, Ankara Advance 3+3 Caucasus Cooperation Platform

By Asbarez | Wednesday, 08 June 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Arrives in Yerevan

The foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey announced on Wednesday that a meeting of representatives to create a South Caucasus cooperation forum will take place in the near future.

The project, known as the “3+3” initiative is an Ankara-proposed scheme—supported by Azerbaijan—that envisions Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Iran and Turkey will come together to form a regional economic and geopolitical alliance.

While Georgia has refused to take part in the so-called platform, due to its long-time enmity with Russia, representatives from the other five countries held a meeting earlier this year in Moscow to discuss the process. These discussions are taking place in tandem with talks between Yerevan and Ankara to normalize relations between Armenia and Turkey, as well as separate talks between Yerevan and Baku in hopes of achieving a “peace treaty.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was visiting Ankara on Wednesday, made the announcement about a potential meeting at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu.

“We agreed on how to continue the work in the South Caucasus. You know about the 3+3 format created at the initiative of Turkey. We held the first meeting in Moscow, the Georgian colleagues could not participate, but we emphasize that we will always be happy to see them there. The next meeting is being planned in the near future,” Lavrov said, according to the TASS news agency.

Lavrov left Ankara on Wednesday evening and arrived in Yerevan, where he was greeted by Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan (right) welcomes Sergei Lavrov to Yerevan on June 8

Lavrov and Mirzoyan are scheduled to meet on Thursday. The top Russian diplomat is also scheduled to meet with Armenia’s prime minister and president. Lavrov is in Yerevan to attend the foreign ministers’ summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, known as the CSTO.

“Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold a detailed exchange of views with the Armenian leadership in Yerevan on the course of implementation of the agreements reached between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia on November 9, 2020, January 11 and November 26, 2020,” Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova announced during a press briefing on Wednesday.

She added that matters related to “bilateral allied relations, the expansion of cooperation between Moscow and Yerevan within the EEU, CSTO and CIS shared integration unions, as well as the strengthening of coordination on international platforms will be discussed.”

“Moscow emphasizes, with satisfaction, that taking into account the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Armenia, which is being celebrated this year, the bilateral contacts stand out with high intensity. (…). There is a dialogue every day along the lines of Russian institutions abroad. On June 10, Sergey Lavrov will attend in Yerevan the meeting of the CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers,” Zakharova said.

She said that after this meeting, the 2022-2024 plan of consultations on foreign policy, defense, and security of the CSTO member states in will be signed.