YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said that OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairmen tasked with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peace process “has been honestly fulfilling its functions without retreating from the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, the fundamental OSCE documents and the UN Charter.”
Lavrov is in Armenia to mark the 20th anniversary of Armenia-Russia diplomatic relations.
As for Azerbaijan’s criticism of the mediator’s activity, Lavros said: “We have heard different statements, sometimes emotional or non-official, but we are generally guided by official positions. The official positions of Armenia and Azerbaijan are reflected in the joint statement of the heads of two states and the three co-chairs adopted during the OSCE summit in Astana in 2010. The statement, like the others adopted as a result of trilateral meetings between Presidents Medvedev, Sarkisian and Aliyev commends the work of the mediators, including the personal efforts of President Medvedev.”
Lavrov also said that he has held about ten meetings with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts with the aim of coming to an agreement on the Basic Principles that should serve as the basis of the peace treaty.
“The work is not over, and during the meeting in Sochi on January 23 the presidents expressed willingness to continue their efforts to reach an agreement. Russia is willing to do its best to contribute to these efforts, taking into consideration the will of the parties,” said Lavrov.
The protocol to establish diplomatic relations between Russia and Armenia was signed on April 3, 1992. The Russian foreign minister’s visit included the signing of the joint communiqué with Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian.
Lavrov visited the Dzidzernagapert Memorial Monument to the victims of the Armenian Genocide and laid a wreath.
Nalbandian and Lavrov also took part in a ceremony to unveil a stamp that marks the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
At a joint press conference by the two foreign ministers, Nalbandian said that Armenia has always supported diplomatic negotiations to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue.
“Our position remains unchanged. Iran is our neighbor, and we are interested in excluding the use of force or ways other than negotiations for the resolution of the issue,” Nalbandian said.
The application of military force in Iran will affect not only the security of Armenia and Azerbaijan, but also the entire South Caucasus and the Arab World, Lavrov told the press conference.