The agreements reached at the Vienna and St. Petersburg meetings on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be documented, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference in Hamburg Dec. 9.
Russia has repeatedly stated its position on the Vienna and St. Petersburg agreements, the FM noted.
“Those two meetings were attended by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs too. According to the agreements, the ceasefire regime had to be confirmed. We observe sporadic violations of the ceasefire,” Lavrov said, adding. “According to the agreements, the number of the OSCE observers had to be increased. At least seven more persons are needed. We don’t know for sure where they will be based. I think they must be based on the contact line.”
The 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council kicked off on Dec. 8 in Hamburg, Germany. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov is also attending the meeting.
The two-day meeting will focus on the activities carried out during Germany’s chairmanship, as well as the existing conflicts in the OSCE area including the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
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.