Russia welcomes the activation of the negotiation process, including the upcoming meeting of ministers, and is interested in a productive process, the Russian state secretary and deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin told Interfax, answering the question on Moscow’s expectations from the meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers to discuss the settlement of the Karabakh conflict planned in January.
According to Karasin, Russia welcomes the upcoming meeting of ministers and is interested in its effectiveness. “We support the readiness of Yerevan and Baku to reach a compromise in the existing situation. In our turn we will continue our mediation support to the peace settlement of the protracted conflict together with our counterparts in the OSCE Minsk Group. The joint position of Russia, the United States and France was clearly expressed at the beginning of this December in the joint statement of the heads of delegations of three countries during the meeting of the council of foreign ministers of the OSCE participants in Vienna,” he said.
The diplomat also recalled that after a long pause an Armenian-Azerbaijani summit on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict took place in October 2017 in Geneva with the support of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. An agreement was reached to activate the process of negotiations and undertake additional steps aimed alleviating tension at the line of contact.
“The co-chairs have held separate meetings in November of this year with the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia, and in December they organized a meeting of ministers in Vienna, during the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting. The main issues relating to the settlement that cannot be agreed were discussed. Besides, the possible actions which may lead to escalation at the line of contact were discussed. The sides were presented with special proposals relating to enlarging the OSCE observation mission. The ministers agreed to continue negotiations on this and other issues in January 2018, with the participation of mediators,” Karasin said.