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MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. Russia will help Baku and Yerevan reach mutually acceptable solutions to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday after talks with his visiting Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mamedyarov.
"Naturally, we spoke about the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. Russia will continue to help the sides reach mutually acceptable solutions both in its bilateral relations with Baku and Yerevan and in the formal of trilateral meetings between Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia," he said. "And of course, as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group [comprising Russia, the United States and France]."
"All our steps are being taken on the basis of principled approaches worked out by the co-chairs, i.e. our partners in the United States and France," he added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be ultimately settled however there are two or three outstanding issues that are yet to be agreed, Lavrov said.
"We believe the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be settled," he said. "First of all, these are issues of security, humanitarian problems, the return of the areas around Karabakh that are not controlled by Azerbaijan, the establishment of Nagorno-Karabakh’s status with due account of the opinion of people living there, and parameters of international peacekeeping forces."
"We have reached agreement on most aspects of the final solution but there are two or three concrete topics that are essential to the final package that are still being discussed," Lavrov noted. "I will be frank the sides are far away from accord on these outstanding issues."
According to the Russian top diplomat, before beginning meaningful settlement talks it is necessary to deescalate the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh which has deteriorated in the recent period.
"I am confidents it is necessary to build up measures of trust, including with due account of the results of the summits that were held last May in Vienna and last June in St. Petersburg and with on the basis of proposals that were worked out within the OSCE," the Russian minister added.
Russia is exerting serious efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov, told a news conference on Monday following talks with his Russian counterpart.
According to Mammadyarov, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh continues to be a major problem facing Azerbaijan. "Russia has made very serious efforts to resolve it, we discussed them in detail today," he said. "They are heard in both Azerbaijan and Armenia, there are certain prospects."