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BERLIN, June 7. /TASS/. Germany as the chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will contribute to resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis and maintain contacts on the issue, including with Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a joint news conference with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday.
"By and large, of course, Russia too will play a decisive role in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," the chancellor said. She noted that Germany "would use its contacts" with the Russian, U.S. and French governments on this issue.
"Germany currently holds OSCE chairmanship and wants this conflict to be resolved peacefully," Merkel said.
Azerbaijan considers Russia a strategic partner and evaluates Moscow’s role in solving the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh positively, Aliyev said.
"Russia is our neighbor and friendly country. We maintain constructive relations with it, we are working in different areas," he said.
"Yes, Russia sells arms to Armenia, we understand this, because Russia is a weapons supplier and manufacturer. It has the right to sell them," Aliyev said.
He added that Baku evaluates Moscow’s efforts to solve the Negorno-Karabakh conflict "very positively" and hopes that Moscow will exert influence on Armenia.
He noted that the aim should be not only to ensure the preservation of ceasefire but also make progress in the political process, adding that the will of parties is required to take a step forward in this direction.
The situation along the line of engagement of the conflicting parties in Nagorno-Karabakh deteriorated dramatically overnight to April 2.
On April 5, Russia mediated a meeting between Colonel-General Najmeddin Sadykov, the chief of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces General Staff, and Colonel-General Yuri Khachaturov, the chief of the Armenian Armed Forces General Staff, that took place in Moscow. The sides agreed to cease the hostilities on the line disengaging the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh. The two countries’ defense ministries announced a ceasefire on the contact line as of 11:00 Moscow Time the same day. Ever since, the parties occasionally report brief exchanges of fire along the contact line.