Baku and Yerevan have good will to solve Nagorno-Karabakh problem, Russian president says

Photo: Baku and Yerevan have good will to solve Nagorno-Karabakh problem, Russian president says  / Nagorno-karabakh conflict

details added (first version posted at 16:07)

Azerbaijan and Armenia have good will to resolve the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh peacefully, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Aug. 10, RIA Novosti reported.

"I am pleased to stress that the Azerbaijani president drew attention to the need to solve the problem peacefully," president Putin added at the meeting. "The Armenian president also stressed this. This is the most important thing because casualties are the greatest tragedy."

"Any complex situations can be resolved in case of good will," president Putin said. "Such good will seems to be among Azerbaijani and Armenian people."

"Russia respects the international formats to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he added. "Russia will continue participating there. It plans to use the special bilateral relations with Azerbaijan and Armenia to resolve the situation."

"Of course, we respect all these international formats," president Putin said. "We will continue working with our colleagues. But we proceed from the fact that we have very close relations. The prehistory is so deep that allows us to frankly exchange the views on the position and actions to move forward in resolving all these problems obtained from the past."

"We obtain the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh from the past, as a legacy of the Soviet Union," president Putin said. "We must show patience, wisdom, respect for each other to find a solution."

President Putin recalled that the three presidents have recently informally communicated at the International Sambo Tournament, which they visited.

"Thank God, we did not discuss the business issues," President Putin added. "But nevertheless, we had an opportunity to discuss various topics. In my opinion, this creates a certain atmosphere to frankly speak about the most complex, difficult issues connected with regional settlement."

The negotiations are being held in the trilateral format. The members of the delegations are expected to join them later.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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