MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will go on an official visit to Armenia on Thursday.
On April 22, Lavrov is to hold talks with President Serzh Sargsyan, his counterpart Edvard Nalbandian and to lay a wreath at the Eternal Fire of the Memorial to Victims of Armenian Genocide.
The two foreign ministers are expected to discuss a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues, including the Nagorno-Karabakh recent flare-up. Moscow says a solution to the conflict will be focus of the talks.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that Russia and Armenia are partners and allies and it was written in the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance of 29 August 1997 and the Declaration of Allied Cooperation of 26 September 2000.
An intense political dialog is ongoing at top and high levels.
"On 24 April 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin attended milestone events in Yerevan, commemorating the centenary of genocide of Armenians," the foreign ministry said. "On 9 May, Serzh Sargsian attended the Victory Parade marking the 70th anniversary of (the Soviet victory) in the Great Patriotic War. On 9-10 July, Sargsian visited Ufa, the venue of informal summits of the SCO and BRICS with participation of heads of member-states of the Eurasian Economic Union. On 5-7 September 2015 and on 10-11 March 2016, Serzh Sargsian was in Moscow on working visits. The heads of state hold regular meetings at various international forums, in particular in the formats of EAEU, CIS and CSTO."
The two nations’ positions on pressing issues on the international and regional agenda are close or the same, the Russian ministry said. On April 8, Lavrov and Nalbandian had a meeting in Moscow on the sidelines of the Foreign Ministers’ Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS, comprising former Soviet republics) and on March 10 the ministers put their signatures under a plan of consultations between the foreign ministries for 2016-2017.
Russia is holding regular talks with both Azerbaijan and Armenia, seeking to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Moscow as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group is in high-level talks with both capitals.
Overnight to April 2, hostilities erupted on the line disengaging warring sides in Nagorno-Karabakh. Later, the parties to the conflict accused each other of the ceasefire violations. On April 5, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to cease the hostilities on the line disengaging the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh at a meeting in Moscow mediated by Russia. Since then, the parties to the conflict have been reporting about sporadic exchanges of fire.
On 7 April, Lavrov said during his visit to Baku that the conflict should be resolved to benefit all.
"Apart from efforts on political settlement, search for agreements on how to unblock this situation in general, we discussed issues connected with confidence-building measures on the contact line," the foreign minister noted.
"Then we had the idea to withdraw snipers from the contact line. It is very risky when people look through the barrel sight and see each other every hour, every minute - some people just snap," Lavrov said. "So the attention should be focused on more intensive efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict."