Moscow, Russia, Feb. 18
By Orkhan Yolchuyev - Trend:
Members of the OSCE Minsk Group themselves should solve the issue of modifying its existing format on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson of Russia's Foreign Ministry, Feb. 18.
She made the remarks answering to a question of Trend correspondent on the possibility of holding an expanded meeting of the OSCE Minsk Group.
"The current format has been approved, and it is widely recognized and effective in many ways," said Zakharova. "Of course, everyone would like to have better results, however this format works."
Earlier, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said in Baku that Sweden offers to convene an enlarged meeting of the OSCE Minsk Group for settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"If there is a need for a meeting in a broader format for the conflict settlement, we, as an OSCE Minsk Group member, are willing to participate in it," she added.
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 two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.