"We highly appreciate the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs as a collective mediator in developing a viable solution to the Nagorno Garabagh conflict by the parties. The active work of the mediators is accompanied by the maintenance of an intensive dialogue of the parties involved, aimed at finding common ground on key aspects of the settlement and developing confidence-building measures in line with the general goal of preparing the population for peace," Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ambassador Alexander Lukashevich stated during his speech at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council held on November 7 on discussion regarding the report presented by co-chairs about the settlement of Nagorno Garabagh conflict.
"We note with satisfaction the preservation of relative stability on the contact line and the border of Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the low number of violations of the "silence" regime. This is a sign of interest in finding a compromise at the negotiating table. We are convinced that maintaining and strengthening the ceasefire will contribute to the effectiveness of the mediation mission of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.
We count on the practical implementation of the discussed confidence-building measures between the parties. Reciprocal trips of journalists and a possible exchange of held persons could greatly contribute to the confidence atmosphere necessary for progress in the settlement. It is important that representatives of the parties at all levels refrain from statements and unilateral steps that are deliberately painful for negotiating partners. This does not meet the task of creating the conditions necessary for advancement in a political settlement of the conflict.
We are grateful to Ambassador A. Kasprzyk and his highly professional team for their significant contribution to maintaining stability in the region, encouraging contacts between representatives of the parties, and implementing humanitarian initiatives. Obstacles to monitoring by the office of a personal representative of the “land” situation should be avoided. It is useful to return to the practical study of an agreement fundamentally agreed by Azerbaijan and Armenia at the highest level on expanding the OSCE’s ability to monitor the situation on the contact line and on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border.
We appreciate the contribution of the High-level Planning Group on updating peacekeeping plans in the region within the framework of the mandate approved at the OSCE Summit in Budapest in 1994.
In conclusion, we would like to confirm that the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of Russia's most important foreign policy priorities. We intend to continue to jointly and in an agreed manner with other members of the “troika” of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries provide the parties with all the necessary assistance in developing a mutually acceptable basis for a viable compromise."