Moscow, Russia, May 6
By Orkhan Yolchuyev - Trend:
Nagorno-Karabakh's fate should be determined through political and diplomatic means, said Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova May 6, Trend's special correspondent reported.
In their statements made from 2009 to 2013 on the principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement, the presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries noted that Nagorno-Karabakh's status should be determined based on the legally binding expression of will of the region's people, she added.
Zakharova noted that Russia stands ready to provide full assistance in achieving this goal.
The Madrid principles on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict include a paragraph on the postponed referendum on Nagorno-Karabakh's status. Under those principles, the Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs, who had to leave their homes as a result of the Armenian aggression, should be returned to their native lands and vote in that referendum.
Armenia's Foreign Ministry made a statement on May 5 saying that the rumors about the decision of the Armenian government regarding two MPs' initiative to recognize the "independence" of Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region are groundless.
The statement read that the government's decision doesn't mean approval of that initiative.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.