Russia supports Turkey and Armenia's steps toward normalization, an official said Tuesday after Ankara announced Moscow will host the first meeting between the two countries’ special envoys.
Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Moscow welcomes and is in favor of talks between the two neighbors, adding that, "The whole world will benefit from this reestablishment of neighborly relations."
"We are good partners, both with Turkey and with Armenia. We were promoting the regional intensification and improvement of regional ties of economic networks," Polyanskiy said.
The process is "very fragile," and "there is very little trust among the parties and a lot of suspicion," he said. "So we need to overcome this."
On Dec. 15, Turkey appointed Serdar Kılıç, a former ambassador to the U.S., as its special envoy to discuss steps for normalization with Armenia. Three days later, Armenia appointed its special representative for dialogue with Turkey, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Ruben Rubinyan.
Turkey said charter flights with Armenia would begin soon, and it is pursuing its normalization discussions in consultation and coordination with Azerbaijan.
“Both Azerbaijan and Turkey may open their borders with Armenia if we reach the point we want,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Monday during a press briefing.
Following years of frozen ties, the neighboring countries of Turkey and Armenia have announced they seek to normalize relations amid efforts for regional integration and cooperation in the South Caucasus.
Earlier this month, the two countries appointed special envoys to normalize relations.
Turkey appointed its former ambassador to the United States, Serdar Kılıç, as special envoy to lead normalization discussions with Armenia
The borders between the two countries have been closed for decades and diplomatic relations have been on hold.
Armenia and Turkey signed a landmark peace accord in 2009 to restore ties and open their shared border after decades, but the deal was never ratified and ties have remained tense.
Relations between Armenia and Turkey have historically been complicated. Turkey’s position on the events of 1915 is that Armenians lost their lives in eastern Anatolia after some sided with the invading Russians and revolted against the Ottoman forces. The subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties, with massacres by militaries and militia groups from both sides increasing the death toll.
Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as “genocide” but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission made up of historians from Turkey and Armenia and international experts to tackle the issue.
During the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict last year, Ankara supported Baku and accused Yerevan of occupying Azerbaijan’s territories.