Russia voiced support for the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to continue their efforts in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing on Thursday, when asked to comment on the latest statement by Azerbaijan’s president who vowed to thwart the Minsk Group Co-Chairs’s efforts.
“As a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia supports the continuation of the work of that format, firstly based on its mandate and also taking into account the regional realities which came after the war in 2020,” Zakharova explained. “Our partners in the Minsk Group—the United States and France—fully share our position.”
She said this position was clearly reflected in a statement issued on December 21, 2021 by the foreign ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries. The statement also called on Baku and Yerevan to host the co-chairs to allow them “to assess the situation and reach tangible progress in humanitarian initiatives.”
Zakharova said that this position was also conveyed to the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan during meetings New York and Paris and September and November last year.
“The Co-Chairs have conveyed a balanced and realistic proposal on the future cooperation agenda to the two ministers in Stockholm on the sidelines of the OSCE Ministerial Council. The agenda proposed by the Co-Chairs relates to both the humanitarian and the socio-political issues,” said Zakharova. “We are expecting an official reaction from the sides, including also over the issue of resuming the regional visits of the Co-Chairs.”
Earlier this week, Russia’s ambassador to the OSCE, Alexander Lukashevich, voiced concern https://asbarez.com/russia-wants-co-chairs-to-resume-visits-to-artsakh/ that the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are not able to visit Nagorno-Karabakh to continue their mediation efforts for a settlement of the conflict.
In voicing its support for the Minsk Group co-chairs, Yerevan has said that Baku has been impeding the visits.
On Thursday, Armenia’s National Security chief Armen Grigoryan said that Armenia expects that the Co-Chairs will visit the region because the international community has expressed that the Karabakh conflict remains unresolved.
“We expect that the Co-Chairs’ visit to the region and further steps will create an opportunity for the lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict,” Grigoryan told reporters on Thursday.
Grigoryan added that Armenia will continue to take action so that it would be possible to formulate a comprehensive peace treaty. According to him, in order to sign this treaty, it is necessary to find a solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. He emphasized the need for finding solutions through negotiations.
“There must not be any restriction on the status of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, it is necessary to find a solution to the issue with negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” said Grigoryan.