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Moscow reacts to Matthew Bryza’s statement on possible change in Minsk Group format


If the number of co-chairs decreases, then the format of the OSCE Minsk Group will change, Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, told a briefing on Thursday, an APA correspondent reported from Moscow.

 

Zakharova was commenting on the former American co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Matthew Bryza’s statement that that Washington can recall its co-chairman and the Minsk Group’s format can be changed.   

 

Zakharova said that she is considering the issue not from a practical but theoretical point of view.

 

“This matter should be replied by Washington. Everything looks logical, if the number of the co-chairs decreases, then the format will change. It will be another matter for whatever reasons it will happen, whether they have money or not,” she added.

 

The resolution of the Karabakh conflict is a priority for Russia, stressed Zakharova. “It’s not just about our neighbors, but about the people with whom we are connected by life, destiny. We had a common fate with these peoples for centuries. Therefore, the settlement of the Karabakh conflict is a priority for us,” added the spokesperson.  

 

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.

 

A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.

 

The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.

 

Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in December 1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.

 

Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.  

 

Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.

 

 

 

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