Ushakov’s comments on Karabakh conflict surprise – Azerbaijan (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 12:37)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 14
The statement by the Russian presidential aide, Yuri Ushakov, on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is surprising and regrettable, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman of Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry, told Trend Oct. 14.
Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said Oct. 13 that Moscow is not optimistic about the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the near future and added that Moscow will continue to work with Baku and Yerevan on the issue.
“These remarks by Yuri Ushakov contradict the spirit of the Vienna and St. Petersburg meetings of the presidents and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ statements, voiced repeatedly at the presidential level, on unacceptability and volatility of the status quo,” said Hajiyev.
He also said the statement doesn’t correspond to the detailed discussions held for the conflict’s resolution during the visits of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the region.
“We have repeatedly stated that according to the spirit of the Vienna and St. Petersburg meetings of the presidents, Azerbaijan supports substantive talks towards the step-by-step resolution of the conflict,” he noted.
“The substantive talks should ensure changing the current status quo, which is unacceptable and unsustainable, and the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories,” added Hajiyev.
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.