Karabakh Foreign Affairs Minister Comments on Azeri Russian Relations

STEPANAKERT (Armenpress)–Karabakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Naira Melkoumian said in an interview that no surprises had occurred during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Baku. According to Melkoumian–Russia–as a country with an unsettled ethnic conflict–must emphasize the supremacy of the principle of territorial integrity and stability of borders.

At the same time–the Russian president diplomatically managed to separate the Karabakh problem and note that it was to be settled on a compromise basis. "Let’s not forget that Russia as a Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group should adhere to the consensus–existing among all the countries on this issue"–said Melkoumian.

Commenting on the negotiations between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan–Melkoumian said those meetings have received powerful backing by the international community. In the minister’s opinion–only through meetings of such a high level one can find a model to later negotiate on. At the same time Melkoumian expressed regret in connection with the fact that those meetings had not yet led to any decision.

The minister explained this circumstance is by the fact that the main side of the conflict–Nagorno-Karabakh–does not participate in the negotiations–and second–that Azerbaijan is more and more toughening its position on this issue. "Settlement of any conflict," Melkoumian said–"is a capacious–long and multi-stage process–and in our case–the problem is to save Karabakh from unnecessary crises–blows–and inadmissible proposals." Estimating Russian-Azerbaijani relations–the minister stressed that Azerbaijan should understand that there is no country–no third power–which would impose an unacceptable solution for the Nagorno-Karabakh people.

Azerbaijan tried to establish special relations with the Unites States by locating NATO military bases in Azerbaijan–however–it did not lead to any positive results. Currently–Baku tries to please Russia. "We must regard these relations very calmly–because Russia has its main interests in our region–and the region consists not only of Armenia and Karabakh"–emphasized the minister.

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