Russian FM talks about increasing number of OSCE observers in Karabakh conflict zone
- 01 February 2018
The point here is to increase the number of OSCE the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone rather than expand the Office of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Personal Representative.
He was commenting on the issue of expanding the OSCE observation mission in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone at a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart
Angelino Alfano in Moscow on Feb. 1, APA’s correspondent reported from Moscow.
Lavrov recalled that in 2010 negotiations were held to strengthen confidence-building measures in the conflict zone.
"After the events of April 2016, a meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents was organized in Vienna. Moreover, the Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents met in St. Petersburg in June 2016. The sides reached an agreement to strengthen confidence building measures. According to the agreement, six or seven more people had to join the OSCE observation mission on the contact line of troops. We hope the OSCE will operatively implement this agreement,” he said.
Russia’s top diplomat said there are reports that the expansion of the OSCE observation mission will impede a political solution to the conflict.
“Apparently, one must argue that all conflicts are the same, even in Karabakh, even in Donbass. The strengthening of security measures and political settlement process should be carried out in parallel. I hope that the agreement reached by the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers will be realized,” 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.