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MOSCOW, January 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders Dmitry Medvedev, Ilkham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan will meet in Sochi on Monday for the tenth three-party summit on Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, the Kremlin press service said, noting that a successful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by peaceful means is one of Russia's priority interests in the region.
Medvedev will also have separate meetings with Aliyev and Sargsyan.
The Kremlin notes that serious concern is caused by the frequent cases of violations of the ceasefire, casualties among servicemen and civilians and the military rhetoric from both sides.
Russia consistently calls on the parties for confidence consolidation, the press service noted.
The joint statement made by the three presidents in Sochi on March 5, 2011 is aimed to achieve the goal. The statement calls for settlement of all the disputed issues by peaceful means and investigation of incidents along the ceasefire line under the aegis of the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk group. According to the Russian presidential administration, it is important now to complete the work in a short period of time on a mechanism to conduct investigations.
Moscow also believes the dialogue between representatives of intellectual, scientific and public circles of the two countries should be resumed.
The idea of people’s diplomacy was already realized in practice when Armenian and Azerbaijani public representatives in one delegation went on trips to Nagorny Karabakh, Yerevan and Baku in June 2007 and July 2009 on the initiative of the Azerbaijani and Armenian ambassadors to Moscow.
Russia's mediating mission was intensified in 2008 when the three-party contacts were brought to the top level. The first meeting of Medvedev, Aliyev and Sargsyan on November 2, 2008 resulted in the Moscow declaration on the common understanding that the final settlement must be achieved only by political and diplomatic means, by a dialogue between the parties and on the basis of international law standards and principles.
During later meetings, the parties searched for compromise solutions.
At the previous summit in Kazan on June 24, 2011, the positions were bought closer on disputed provisions of the draft Nagorno-Karabakh settlement fundamentals, the document on which a peace agreement is expected to be based.
In the mediation, Russia closely cooperates with the United States and France, partners in the OSCE Minsk group, the main negotiating ground to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
Commenting on the planned bilateral meeting of Medvedev and the Azerbaijani president, the press service said that in the talks they would discuss most important issues of bilateral relations and the regional and international agenda. Much attention is paid to Caspian issues and coordination in regional and international issues. Azerbaijan's election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2012-13 gives additional opportunities to develop cooperation, the press service noted.
Azerbaijan is Russia's important strategic partner in the Trans-Caucasian and Caspian regions. The political dialogue between the two countries develops intensively, and there is a positive development trend in trade and economic cooperation -- the trade turnover grew 66 percent to exceed USD 2.2 billion in 2011.
Moscow believes among priorities to promote the further development of business ties are the efficient use of the potential of the intergovernmental commission and the further consolidation of the legal basis.
Cooperation in the oil and gas sectors also develops actively. During the visit, an additional agreement to the October 14, 2009 contract on gas purchases is planned to be signed between Gazpromexport and the Azerbaijani state oil company.
As for the meeting between the Russian president and his Armenian counterpart, they are expected to discuss most important aspects of Russian-Armenian strategic partnership and allied relations.
Russia has firm positions as the republic's foreign economic partner with the trade turnover and investments. The bilateral trade turnover amounted to USD 771.4 million for the period from January to October 2011. The number of enterprises with Russian investments total about 1,300, more than a fourth of the republic's all enterprises with foreign capital.
The two countries successfully carry out major joint projects in the gas, energy, nuclear and transport sectors.