Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 31
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
Russia together with other co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group actively supports the reduction of tension on the contact line between the Azerbaijani and Armenian armed forces, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Jan. 31.
"Russia, along with other OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries dealing with the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement, actively stands for reduction of tension on the contact line and is making efforts aimed at expansion of the OSCE observer mission in the conflict zone,” she said.
“In particular, a significant part of the Russian president's meeting with the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in St. Petersburg in June 2016 was dedicated to this topic,” Zakharova added. “This topic was also discussed during the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Baku and Yerevan in November 2017."
“Several versions of the document regulating the activity of additional observers were prepared within the OSCE,” she said. “At a meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries, organized by the co-chairing countries in Krakow on Jan. 18, the sides were provided with updated proposals.”
"The ministers gave an agreement in principle to the document prepared by the mediators,” she said. “Some technical details remain; they still need to be agreed upon by the sides before a mechanism for expansion is launched."
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.