Russia, Moscow / Тrend corr R. Agayev / In order to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict both sides - Azerbaijan and Armenia - should make concessions, the deputy director of the CIS Countries' Institution Vladimir Zharikhin said.
"Both Armenia and Azerbaijan should make serious concessions and that requires strong political will of the authorities," he said to Trend on 20 November.
According to Zharikhin , Russia principally opposes independence for unrecognized republics. "We are accused of freezing conflicts, but we have a rather clear position - if there is no decision satisfying both sides, the conflict is better to be frozen rather than to make one-sided decisions, as the United States intends to do with respect top Kosovo," he said.
Had Russia acted the same way, she would have recognized independence of Abkhazia, South Osetia , Nagorno-Karabakh, etc. he said. "We recognize territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and Georgia but stressing that the conflicts are not settled and it should be frozen," he said.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.