Russia doing utmost for peaceful Karabakh conflict settlement

By: Sara Rajabova

Russia, which is one of the three OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries tasked with peaceful resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani dispute, has said it is doing its utmost for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko made the remark during her visit to Armenia, RIA Novosti reported.

“Our stance on this issue has been consistent. Russia is committed to the political solution, which rules out the resumption of hostilities, bloodshed and the risk of a humanitarian catastrophe,” Matviyenko noted.

Russian officials have repeatedly called for an intensification of negotiations for resolving the long-standing conflict. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, himself, said earlier that the time had come for settlement.

Since a lengthy war in the early 1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, the Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.

Matviyenko further noted that “the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was one of the longest-standing in the post-Soviet space.”

She said it broke out when the Soviet Union was still in existence and has lasted for nearly 30 years. “In my opinion, it should be now clear to everyone that it brings nothing but trouble to either side,” she said.

“Unfortunately, the conflict dragged on, but we believe that it should be resolved peacefully only through diplomatic channels, without the use of force,” Matvienko said.

She further added that they will continue to make efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

“It comes not only from the interests of Armenia and Azerbaijan, but the whole region,” Matvienko said.

Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France, and the U.S. through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles.

The talks have been largely fruitless so far despite the efforts of the Minsk co-chairs over the past 20 years.


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