Russian FM: Tripartite format of negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh allows strengthening confidence-building measures (UPDATE)
The details were added after the second paragraph (the first version was posted at 16:27)
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 3 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /
A tripartite format of the negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh allowed bringing the positions of both sides closer and strengthening confidence-building measures, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said.
"Russia is making every effort to achieve progress with support from other OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen. Three meetings were held in a trilateral format between Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in 2010. These contacts allowed to bring the positions of the two parties closer and strengthen confidence-building measures," he said.
Lukashevich said that in Astrakhan Presidents Aliyev and Sargsyan expressed the fundamental readiness to continue working on the basic principles of settlement.
As a result of the talks between the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia Ilham Aliyev, Dmitry Medvedev and Serzh Sargsyan in Astrakhan, the sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - Azerbaijan and Armenia signed the declaration on October 27, 2010. It provides for the return of prisoners of war. It is of humanitarian nature.
"We think that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will be able to analyze the work carried out between the summits and to determine further practical actions that are aimed at finding a mutually acceptable solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem at the upcoming meeting in Sochi," he said.
A meeting of presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia will be held in Sochi on March 5. The issues of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh will be discussed there.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.