Russian presidential hopeful talks about possible solutions to Karabakh conflict
Asked about his view of how to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Grudinin said Russia is playing a stabilizing role in the Caucasus region.
“Russia has some weight in the region. I’m familiar with this conflict. In my opinion, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan should only be resolved through negotiations. The parties need to sit at the table to negotiate this issue. I have a positive attitude towards both Azerbaijanis and Armenians. I have friends from both nations. Hardly ever do Azerbaijanis and Armenians living in Russia have a problem with each other. I think no one needs war,” the Russian presidential hopeful said.
Grudinin also stressed that if he wins the upcoming presidential election in Russia, he will contribute to this cause by way of negotiations.
“I consider that Azerbaijan and Armenia, through Russia’s mediation, will find a mutually acceptable solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he added.
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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