Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. The statement by Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is surprising and regrettable, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry told APA on Friday.
This statement by Ushakov is contrary to the spirit of the Vienna and St. Petersburg meetings of the presidents and the statements of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, voiced repeatedly at the presidential level, unacceptability and unsustainability of the status-quo, said Hajiyev.
In the meantime, this statement does not correspond to conducted detailed discussions on the resolution of the conflict during the intensive visits of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the region, added the spokesman.
“Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that according to the spirit of the Vienna and St. Petersburg meetings of the presidents, it supports substantive talks towards a phased settlement of the conflict,” said Hajiyev. “The substantive talks should ensure changing the status-quo, which is unacceptable, and unsustainable and the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.”
Calling the continuation by Armenia the occupation of Azerbaijan’s sovereign territories ‘unacceptable’, Hajiyev stressed that Azerbaijan will ensure its territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders.
Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters Thursday that Moscow is not optimistic about the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the near future.
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.