Russia to continue mediatory mission in Karabakh conflict
- 10 March 2017
Russia intends to continue its mediatory mission regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, together with other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday, APA reported.
She noted that compliance with all the previous agreements over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is important in moving towards sustainable peace in the settlement process.
“The joined statements made so far by the presidents of Russia, France, and the United States as regards the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict indicate that there is no military solution to the conflict and the co-chairs countries call on the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents to try to resolve the conflict by avoiding the use of force, respecting territorial integrity, and giving the peoples the right to self-determination,” said Zakharova.
She noted that apart from the trilateral efforts, Russia will, in consideration of its close ties with Azerbaijan and Armenia, continue making independent efforts.
“The ceasefire agreement of 1994 was signed specifically on Russia’s initiative. Moreover, the restoration of the ceasefire on the contact line in April 2016 became possible thanks the Russian side’s efforts,” added Zakharova.
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 Dec.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.