OSCE Minsk Group format consigned to dustbin of history – Russian MFA

Politics Materials 17 February 2023 14:48 (UTC +04:00)
OSCE Minsk Group format consigned to dustbin of history – Russian MFA

BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 17. The OSCE Minsk Group format was consigned to the dustbin of history in February 2022, Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a weekly briefing, Trend reports.

"Following this, the US and French co-chairs stopped interacting with their Russian colleagues under a far-fetched pretext. Furthermore, there has been no clear explanation from them," she noted.

According to Zakharova, taking this into account, Moscow focused on providing assistance to Azerbaijan and Armenia within the frame of trilateral formats.

The Minsk Group, co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US, assumed the role of mediator to find a peaceful solution to the Karabakh conflict. The Karabakh conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, the Armenian Armed Forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including Karabakh and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Following over a month of military action to liberate its territories from Armenian occupation from late Sept. to early Nov. 2020, Azerbaijan has pushed Armenia to sign the surrender document. The trilateral statement was signed by the Azerbaijani, Armenia, and Russian leaders.

A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in the zone of the Karabakh conflict were introduced on Nov. 10, 2020.

Before the 2020 war, the Minsk Group’s unproductive activity repeatedly triggered a severe backlash from the Azerbaijani authorities. Shortly after the war, President Aliyev said the Group failed to resolve the conflict despite its internationally recognized mandate.