Russian FM: Experience shows Karabakh talks unlikely to end soon
Experience shows that the negotiations on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are not going to end soon, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian in Yerevan on Tuesday, APA reports.
Russia’s top diplomat said that since 2007, all the components of the conflict’s resolution have appeared in a number of documents.
"The documents of the time, as well as those of 2009 and 2011, were reported to the OSCE Secretary General. As proposals of the co-chairs, they are on the table and are in the form of packages. It is difficult to take one or both of these and say ‘let’s have a discussion in this regard’. Because the balance gets lost. In this case, our desire will not produce any results,” he said.
Lavrov recalled that the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia positively assessed the meeting in Geneva last month.
“It would be great if this positive approach helped us move forward in resolving the conflict,” he added.
Lavrov noted that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are working in this direction.
“The co-chairs met with the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers separately in Moscow. Together with our American and French counterparts, we will analyze the current situation,” said the Russian minister. “We will try to make efforts to achieve progress in resolving the conflict. However, I don’t want to express excessive optimism. The problem is complicated, and our experience shows that the negotiations will not end soon.”
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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