The OSCE, through joint efforts, will continue to contribute to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov made the remarks at a press conference with his Italian counterpart, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Angelino Alfano in Moscow on Feb. 1, APA’s correspondent reported from Moscow.
The Russian foreign minister said he had discussed the ongoing conflicts in the OSCE area at the meeting with his Italian counterpart.
"With our joint efforts, the OSCE will continue to contribute to preventing the conflicts in the Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh, and chair the Geneva discussions ensuring security in the South Caucasus. The OSCE will continue to work in the Balkans as well. First and foremost, we want to see the OSCE playing an active role in Kosovo,” Lavrov added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in December 1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.