Russia Against Violation of Azerbaijan?s Territorial Integrity

MOSCOW (Armenpress)–Official Moscow has taken up the baton from the European Union to express its position regarding the August 11 presidential election in the Nagorno Karabakh republic.

The foreign minstry said in a statement ahead of Sunday’s planned elections: "We would like to underline that Moscow supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan."

A senior official of the Russian foreign ministry was also quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying that "Moscow defends the principle of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan."

The official–Boris Malakhov–also underlined that Moscow does not recognize Karabakh as an independent state.

The Russian diplomat said that the future status of Karabakh should be decided without resorting to force–but through negotiations under the patronage of the OSCE Minsk group.

Malakhov was also quoted as saying that Moscow does not think that the process of peaceful regulation of the conflict may be dependent on the presidential election in Karabakh.

"Russia will continue its efforts to help Armenia’s and Azeris reach a quick and comprehensive peace plan–based on mutual compromises," he said.

In the meantime–Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev was quoted by Baku-based news media saying that "Azerbaijan cannot tolerate the occupation of its territories any longer."

Meeting with a visiting Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsun Aminzade of neighboring Iran– Aliyev stressed that his country was seriously pondering over the regulation of the Armenian-Azeri confrontation over Karabakh.

The Iranian diplomat was said to reiterate his government’s willingness to assist the conflicting sides to reach peaceful resolution together with the OSCE Minsk group co-chairmen and other countries of the region.

"Iran is against any action that would aggravate the situation in the region. The Karabakh conflict should be resolved through negotiations only," he said.

Aliyev reportedly asked the Iranian diplomat to exploit Iran’s good relations with Armenia to convince Yerevan that it is breaking the international laws.

Aliyev–at the same time–stressed that he remains committed to the peaceful resolution of the conflict. "We are trying to use all our resources to achieve a political solution," he said.

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