Russia welcomes all positive trends in Nagorno-Karabakh settlement
Russia welcomes all the positive trends in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process, Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said at a press conference on October 4.
“We welcome all the positive trends that have emerged. It is important now to develop them and not to injure with careless rhetoric. For our part, we will provide all the necessary assistance to these positive trends,” she said.
The positive trends observed recently concern the recent conversation held between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. This meeting became a source of positivity and regained faith that the negotiations on the settlement of the long-lasting conflict may finally bring result.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry, commenting on this issue, said that the talks will contribute to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“Russia welcomes any agreements aimed at achieving settlement of the conflict. We hope that the conversation held in Dushanbe will contribute to the implementation of this task,” the ministry said, adding that, as one of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, Russia is ready to provide the necessary mediation assistance to Azerbaijan and Armenia
Russia has always played a very active role in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and along with the U.S. and France is a co-chair country of the OSCE Minsk Group, which spearheads the OSCE’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
The two countries fought a lengthy war that ended with signing a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign state with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.
Negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are still underway within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. Azerbaijan insists on maintaining its territorial integrity, Armenia defends the interests of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Until now, Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.