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Armenian president highlights Russia’s role in Nagorno Karabakh peace settlement

April 23, 16:12 UTC+3 YEREVAN
"Russia as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group is involved actively in the peace settlement process in Nagorno Karabakh", Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan said
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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

YEREVAN, April 23. /TASS/. Armenia has been confident the Karabakh conflict could be settled peacefully only, but the situation is quite different today, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan told participants of the forum Against Genocide Crimes on Saturday.

Over years, Armenia has been "a responsible participant in the process, tried finding a mutually acceptable solution, tried being constructive," he said. "We were confident this issue could be settled exclusively on the basis of compromises, peacefully, but today the situation is very different."

He said, on Friday he presented to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Armenia’s position on the "situation, which has formed after the large-scale attack of Azerbaijan" against Nagorno Karabakh. "Russia as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group is involved actively in the peace settlement process in Nagorno Karabakh."

"Clearly, Azerbaijan’s grave violation of the 1994 agreement on ceasefire has pushed far back the negotiations process," the Armenian president said. The Azerbaijani side "has breached the agreements on ceasefire, ignored 5 joint statements of the Minsk Group’s co-chair presidents - Russia, the U.S. and France - committed horrible military crimes."

The president said Armenia was calling on all "to point to the aggressor in order to learn the lessons and have an opportunity to move forward."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday: "We do not support attempts to seek parallel channels, create mechanisms that do not enjoy the confidence of all sides. This will only distract from the main task - to ensure security, avoid new victims and create conditions for resuming the political process."

According to Lavrov, the parties themselves should come to resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis, while Russia and other Minsk Group co-chairs - the U.S. and France - will try to help them in that. "We have a common stance, and I understand Armenia supports it, that the co-chairs' troika is to act as a chief coordinator in accordance with the mandate agreed by the sides," Russia’s top diplomat said.

"I understand that it is difficult to return to the negotiating table now, tensions must subside a little bit, and people should calm down too," he added. Lavrov noted that there can be no military solution to this conflict, and it is necessary to push ahead with efforts to reach a political settlement.

"I think that, if we could make some progress, at least in the political process, if we could identify the general principles for the parties to rely on as legally binding, this would not only play an important role in launching the talks but would also be a factor to prevent outbreaks of violence," Lavrov said.

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