Russia seriously seeking to settle Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Foreign Ministry

By: Mushvig Mehdiyev

Holding of a meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents was an important stage in Russia’s mediation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s resolution, said the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Efforts for the settlement of the Karabakh problem was one of the significant issues on Russia’s foreign policy agenda, the Ministry said in a report on its activity in 2014.

“An important stage of Russia’s mediation activity under the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s resolution process was holding of Sochi meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents on August 9, which led to a considerable decrease in tensions on the conflict zone,” the ministry said.

It added that the Russian Federation has actively worked as one of the co-chair countries (also including France and the U.S.) of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, as the middlemen held five meetings with the Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities, as well as number of consultations with the foreign ministers of two sides.

Following a serious outbreak of hostilities on the contact line between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armies, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a meeting between Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev in Sochi, Russia.

The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan once more voiced their commitment to the peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict. As the mediator, Russian President Putin said Moscow respected the current format for the conflict’s settlement adding that Russia would continue to work closely with both sides.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.