MOSCOW—While welcoming renewed high-level meetings between high-level Armenian and Azerbaijani officials, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin urged the sides to intensify their efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
In an interview with the Interfax news agency, Karasin welcomed an upcoming meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers scheduled for January, saying, “Russia is interested in an effective outcome of the ministerial meeting in January next year and supports the efforts of Yerevan and Baku to seek compromises on the basis of the work done.”
Karasin stressed that Russia, together with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, will continue to mediate a peaceful resolution to the Karabakh conflict. “This unified position of Russia, the U.S. and France was clearly mentioned in the joint statement of the heads of delegation of the three countries in Vienna,” he added.
In the Interfax interview, Karasin touched on the October summit between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev, in Geneva, where the two leaders agreed to continue talks and accelerate efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict.
“In October 2017, after a long break, the Armenian-Azerbaijani summit on the Karabakh settlement was held in Geneva with the assistance of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. During the summit the parties agreed to intensify the negotiation process and take additional measures aimed at reducing tensions on the contact line of troops. In this regard, the co-chairs held separate consultations in November 2017 with the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia,” he said.
“The Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers discussed the key issues of the settlement, on which consensus could not yet reached. In addition, possible actions that would lead to de-escalation in the conflict zone were considered. The parties were given specific proposals related to the expansion of the OSCE observation mission. The ministers also agreed to continue the negotiations in January 2018 with the participation of the Minsk Group co-chairs,” said Karasin referring to a meeting held between Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers Edward Nalbandian and Elmar Mammadyarov in Vienna last month.