Russia wants Karabakh conflict to be completely resolved – foreign ministry
Moscow, Russia, Apr. 6
By Orkhan Yolchuyev - Trend:
Russia wants the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to be completely resolved and cannot afford to doubt that the sides of the conflict can sit at the negotiating table, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova told Trend at a briefing Apr. 6.
"If we allow ourselves to doubt that we won't succeed in that, it can be very dangerous and may inspire those who don't want a peaceful settlement of the conflict," said Zakharova. "We want it and know that both sides want it, too."
She said that Russia has tried for many years to carefully step by step completely resolve the situation and the sides were sometimes on the verge of clinching an agreement.
"Then, unfortunately, the process has been dragging on," she said.
"Russia's role as the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair, considering the relations we built up with both Armenia and Azerbaijan, its role as a major international player with the countries involved in this situation, is constructive," said Zakharova.
She added that all Russia's thoughts, intentions, aspirations, ideas and plans are related exclusively to the peaceful settlement of this situation, as well as, of course, prevention of any provocations.
On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.
Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry earlier said.
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.