There is a need for a step by step approach to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
This year Russia expects some positive impulses from Azerbaijan and Armenia in connection with the settlement of the conflict, Lavrov said at a press conference, summarizing the results of Moscow’s diplomatic activities in 2017, an APA correspondent reported from Moscow.
Lavrov underscored the need to take additional steps to stabilize the situation on the contact line of troops.
“This will also contribute to the transition of a political settlement. Solving this issue once and for all by one document is impossible. A step-by-step approach is needed in this issue. This approach will show what can be done now, define the ways for which additional discussions are needed in connection with the settlement of the conflict and the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. That is, it's up to the parties,” added Russia’s top diplomat.
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.