Russian Position on Karabagh Unchanged Says Oskanian

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Speaking to a session of Armenia’s National Assembly–Armenian foreign minister Vartan Oskanian said that Russia’s position on Mountainous Karabagh remains unchanged. Oskanian was specifically responding to hopes of Azeri authorities that President Ilham Aliyev’s upcoming visit to Moscow would produce "more effective measures" from the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that Russia co-chairs.

The Minsk Group was formed to help Azerbaijan and Armenia find a mutually acceptable peace formula to end the conflict over Mountainous Karabagh.

"Russia is a member of the Minsk Group–and a mediator [to the conflict]. I believe that it has established a clear position–to which it will adhere," stressed Oskanian.

Oskanian also blasted the opposition that called for his resignation–saying Armenia bore losses at the recent Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) winter session in Strasbourg.

At the session–opposition members of the Armenian delegation attempted to push internal issues and unsuccessfully tried to get PACE to back the idea of a change of power–and a national vote of confidence in President Kocharian.

"I could never tolerate when one of the most significant issues for Armenia–concerning the Karabagh conflict resolution–is about to be put to discussion and voting at a full session of PACE–and opposition members of Armenia’s parliament raise the issue of a referendum of confidence–just two minutes before voting–distracting from the essential issue."

The Foreign Affairs Ministry is not to blame stressed Oskanian–"only the delegation is responsible for any success or failure in PACE."

Immediately after the occurrence–Oskanian pledged to bring up the issue before the national assembly–"I want to raise the question pointblank–because if we maintain the current pattern of action at the PACE session–we will suffer a defeat; we need unity."

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