Sergey Lavrov: Russia makes new proposals on Nagorno-Karabakh settlement
Russia is making new proposals on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting with the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, which was held in Baku on the eve of the tripartite ministerial talks in the Russian-Azerbaijani-Iranian format.
The minister said that his visit is a result of the joint work of the presidents of the three countries. "Your initiative was to establish a trilateral format, which is important, as you rightly said, from many points of view: from the perspective of closer trilateral political cooperation, security cooperation in the fight against terrorism, given the fact that terrorists' supply routes pass through these three countries, as well as our other neighbors, and it is important to establish cooperation to combat this phenomenon collectively," Sergey Lavrov said.
In addition, the countries have common interests to enable their geo-strategic position in the interests of transport routes for development of economic ties and energy cooperation. "First, these issues were discussed in a variety of formats, but I hope that tomorrow, guided by your agreement with President Putin and President Rouhani, we will be able to create a political framework, which will allow the sectoral ministries to work on the implementation of the relevant transport and energy projects more specifically," the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Of course, an important topic at this meeting will be Russian-Azerbaijani bilateral relations. "I will meet with my colleague tomorrow and we will be guided by the agreement you have reached with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, when he was on a visit to Baku. He sends you his warmest greetings and reminds you about his invitation to visit Russia. Of course, this is the self-sufficient direction of our foreign policy," the minister stressed, adding that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement will be the focus of the talks.
"The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has faced a serious challenge in view of the circumstances you mentioned – the resumption of hostilities, which is probably the most massive for many years. We did our best to help the sides reach the ceasefire agreement at all levels. We stand ready to contribute to the agreement not being violated," Sergei Lavrov assured and thanked the Azerbaijani President for his kind words addressed to Russia.
"As you said, it is important to alleviate the situation and to actively engage in a political settlement, I hope the events of recent days will push us to this. We have some proposals, which we are trying to apply together with the co-chairs in the interest of reaching an agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia. I expect we’ll also be able to pay attention to these questions in the medium and long-term prospects, and will talk about it both today and tomorrow. We fully support the initiatives undertaken by the co-chairs. They have visited Baku. Tomorrow they will be on the line of contact, the day after tomorrow they will be in Yerevan. It is important to create the necessary prerequisites for the resumption of the political process with the help of the OSCE and the International Committee of the Red Cross," the Russian Foreign Minister concluded.