BAKU (Combined Sources)—Russian President Demitry Medvedev at a joint press conference Tuesday appeared to agree with his Azeri counterpart’s assertions that the Karabakh conflict must be resolved with the principle of territorial integrity as its main driving force.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting in Baku where Russia formally signed a deal to buy natural gas from Azerbaijan, Medvedev and Ilham Aliyev both praised the recent St. Petersburg meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan and called it a productive step forward.
When asked about the principles of territorial integrity and self determination, Aliyev was quick to point out that “the principle of territorial integrity is an inviolable one.”
“With regard to the principle of self-determination of peoples, it can be successfully implemented within the framework of the territorial integrity of a single Azerbaijani state,” added Aliyev.
“Our view, that is, the view of the Russian Federation, the country hosting the talks, is that at various points in the last meeting in St Petersburg, the negotiating parties – and here I mean Azerbaijan and Armenia – were ready to deal systematically with the disparities that exist in their positions on specific issues and make progress in precisely the way that the President of Azerbaijan just described, by moving forward. There is every chance that this conflict will be resolved in fairly short order. And Russia is ready to do everything it can along with other nations (this is no place for petty jealousy) so that this conflict can be settled as efficiently as possible,” said Medvedev.
Both presidents claimed their support for last year’s Moscow declaration, in which all parties agreed to move forward on peace efforts based on principles of international and norms established by international organizations.
“The nature of this framework is well-known – Mr. Aliyev has just laid it out. In effect we are talking about the general principles of international law that were developed by what used to be called the civilized nations. Of course we are talking about the decisions of major international organizations and above all those of the United Nations, and of the resolutions that were adopted concerning the Nagorno Karabakh conflict,” added Medvedev.
“I think the most important thing is not even that these principles are available, as nobody challenges them, but that all parties be ready to consider all the issues in this spirit and resolve the conflict on the basis of these fundamental principles, without trying to invent something completely different. In my opinion this is what will make possible the resolution of this very long and difficult conflict,” he added.