Moscow Does Not Agree with Ankara’s Position on Karabakh

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to reporters on Oct. 12 in Moscow
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to reporters on Oct. 12 in Moscow

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to reporters on Oct. 12 in Moscow

  • Turkey is not Moscow’s Strategic Ally, Says Lavrov
  • Lavrov proposes deploying observers to frontline

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said that Russia does not agree with Ankara’s positions on Karabakh. He also proposed deploying ceasefire observers to the Karabakh frontline.

“Turkey’s role in Karabakh: yes, we do not agree with the position voiced by Turkey, which was also expressed on several occasions by [Azerbaijani] President Aliyev, there is no secret here,” Lavrov said during a radio interview, adding that Moscow “cannot share statements according to which a military solution to the conflict exists and is permissible.”

Lavrov said a military solution for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was “unacceptable,” while he said Turkey needs to be “transparent” in its actions.

Lavrov went on to say that Russia has never considered Turkey as its strategic ally.

“We have never considered Turkey as our strategic ally. It [Turkey] is a close partner, that partnership has strategic nature in many areas,” explained Lavrov.

The Russian Foreign Minister also said that Russian military observers should be deployed to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone in order to ensure that the ceasefire agreement is upheld.

He stressed that a final decision on the proposed deployment of observers will be up to the sides to the conflict.

Speaking at a news briefing, Lavrov said the military observers on ground would be able to decide the specific necessary steps to objectively supervise how the sides are adhering to the ceasefire.

Lavrov said he has been in contact over the issue with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts, and that the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu has also contacted his counterparts in Yerevan and Baku.

He provided more insight into the 11-hour talks that ended with the humanitarian ceasefire agreement last week, calling the negotiations unique. Lavrov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin played a decisive role in the talks, adding that, at one point, defense minister Shoygu talks. According to Lavrov, Shoygu said that the establishment of a ceasefire would not be without the installment of verification mechanisms.

According to Lavrov, it is possible to achieve a political solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, but this requires the agreements to be maintained on the ground.

On Wednesday, Shoygu held telephone conversations with Defense Minister of Armenia Davit Tonoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Zakir Hasanov, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
“During the talks Sergei Shoygu called on his counterparts to fully implement the obligations of the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides in accordance with the agreements reached in Moscow on October 10,” the defense ministry statement added.

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