YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group met with Armenia’s leaders on Wednesday at the start of a fresh round of regional shuttle diplomacy aimed at brokering a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh.
The mediators refused to talk to media as they proceeded to the presidential palace in Yerevan after talks with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian. “We won’t be answering any questions,” the group’s French co-chair, Bernard Fassier, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
President Serzh Sarkisian’s office gave no details of his meeting with the co-chairs. A separate statement by the Armenian Foreign Ministry said Nalbandian discussed with them the results of his January 24 meeting in Moscow with the Azerbaijani and Russian foreign ministers.
None of the three ministers issued any statements after the Moscow meeting. They already met in the Russian capital on December 9, just over a week after the failure by Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents to reach any agreements on the margins of an OSCE summit held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Meanwhile, Armenia’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that it has ordered its forces to take “large-scale measures” against what it called increased Azerbaijani sniper activity along the Karabakh line of contact. “Worrisome developments are taking place in Azerbaijan, and we are taking appropriate steps to strengthen our defense,” ministry spokesman Davit Karapetian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
“We will mainly be taking defensive measures that will hurt those on the Azerbaijani side who will dare to take offensive actions,” Karapetian said. He refused to go into details.