Putin and Aliyev hold surprise meeting in Sochi (Update 2)
21 July 2017

Update 2: 23.30 GMT Friday 21 July

A meeting has taken place in Sochi between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Before the meeting the two presidents exchanged pleasantries in front of the media, emphasising the good relations existing between their two countries.  No information has been released after the meeting yet.


Update 1, 1630 GMT Friday 21 July

The Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has arrived in the Southern Russian city of Sochi were he is expected to meet later today with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. APA news agency reports that President Aliyev was welcomed at Sochi Airport by the Governor of Krasnodar Krai, Veniamin Kondratyev and the Mayor of Sochi, Anatoli Paxomov.


Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to meet his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Sochi on Friday evening (21 July). The previously unannounced meeting was confirmed by Kremlin Presidential spokesperson Dimitri Peskov. Various Azerbaijani media outlets are also reporting that the meeting will take place later today.

Relations between Azerbaijan and Russia have usually been good during the presidency of Ilham Aliyev, and are often described by Azerbaijani officials as being of a "strategic nature". However Azerbaijani has been increasingly critical of Russia in recent months due to what it sees as backsliding by Russia on promises to deliver results in the Karabakh conflict settlement process.


photo: President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Putin of Russia at their meeting Sochi on 21 July 2017 (picture courtesy of the press service of the President of  Azerbaijan)