Shvydkoi on Karabakh: "Any political solution should find understanding among people"
The OSCE Minsk Group is maintaining contact with Azerbaijan and Armenia to organize the next meeting at the highest level on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the OSCE Minsk Group’s US Co-chair James Warlick told RIA Novosti. The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia affirmed their readiness for the next meeting to ensure progress in the negotiation process during the meetings in Vienna on May 16 and in a trilateral format with the participation of Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg on June 20. After talks with Sargsyan in Moscow on August 10, Putin said that Armenia and Azerbaijan really want to find a solution to the Karabakh crisis. According to him, the goal is to find a solution, which would be produced by the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in such a way that there were no winners or losers, and Russia, like other countries of the Minsk Group, would act as a guarantor of the Karabakh conflict settlement.
Meanwhile, as the special representative of the Russian President for International Cultural Cooperation, Mikhail Shvydkoi, told Vestnik Kavkaza, the situation in Karabakh is extremely painful today: "The consequences of the recent military conflict [in early April this year] are perceived acutely in both Baku and Yerevan. Sometimes time heals, but sometimes it provokes an even more intense emotional response. I think that after Vladimir Putin's meeting with Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan a pause was taken. This pause should be taken. Let's see what will happen in the autumn. If a minimum possibility of a political settlement is outlined, it will be necessary to revive contacts between people of culture, between public figures. It's necessary. Any political solution should find understanding among people, and only intellectuals can help this."
Shvydkoi pointed to Moscow's cultural ties with Yerevan and Baku. As for Armenia, according to him, "the relations between Armenia and Russia have never been interrupted for the past 25 years since the collapse of the USSR. We did not have any period of complications in political, economic or cultural ties. I think that today these relations are at a high level, despite the fact that there was a slight decline in trade and economic relations."
As for Azerbaijan, according to Shvydkoi, the cultural relations between Moscow and Baku are quite diverse. He drew attention to the 5th International Humanitarian Forum created under the patronage of Putin and Aliyev, which will be held in Baku on September 29-30 and which will be attended by a representative delegation from Russia. "We are preparing for the anniversary of Gara Garayev, for remarkable exhibitions. It would be ridiculous to speak about a Year of Culture of Azerbaijan or a Month of Culture of Azerbaijan, or a festival of Azerbaijani culture, or Russian culture in Azerbaijan – this is happening every day, every minute. This reflects the level of relations between our countries, between the leaders of our countries, which is truly deep and extremely positive," Shvydkoi told Vestnik Kavkaza.