Lavrov: We stand for adopting document with specific steps on Karabakh conflict settlement

The normalization of the Nagorno-Karabakh situation requires adopting a document with specific steps, Russian FM Sergey Lavov said in an interview with TASS.

“Currently the most important task is not to allow another flare of violence. Here we again discussed this with the Azerbaijani president. I hope this will also be discussed with the Armenian side. It’s very important to return to the ideas which were enshrined in the joint statements of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia as early as three or four years ago, when meetings with the president of our countries took place.”

According to Lavrov, “apart from efforts on the political normalization track, and search for agreements on how to deal with the unblocking of this entire situation in principle, issues related to measures on confidence building on the Line of Contact were also discussed.” “Taking into consideration that there are casualties, and that the cases ending with losses on both sides have been taking place long ago, it’s necessary to exchange the bodies. There were people who were taken captive. Then there was an idea to use snipers on the Line of Contact. It’s very risky when people look through a rifle scope and see each other each hour and minute: someone might have a nervous breakdown,” Lavrov said.   

According to him, “such measures have been planned long ago.” “By the way, pursuant to the agreement of the Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian presidents, the OSCE together with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Russia, France, U.S.) dealt with the preparation of specific steps. This is a not yet a finally prepared document, but it is available, the work on it has been underway for already several years.”   “I think that the current situation will spur all of us, making to approve these measures as soon as possible and enact them,” Lavorv added.

In his words, this issue was also touched on at the meeting with the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. “He supported such an approach. Of course, understanding that we will not introduce these measures to perpetuate the status quo - nobody wants this – but to create a more favorable climate for political process in the framework of which Russia, apart from the efforts of the three [Minsk Group] Co-chairs, will also come up with its own initiatives.”

“President Putin, and before him President Medvedev, actively advanced different ideas which will allow to unblock the situation through liberating regions round Karabakh at the same time solving the issue on its status. I won’t  go into detail, but several versions remain at the bargaining table. Yesterday we also touched on this with the Azerbaijani president. We will continue our efforts.”

The Russian FM also attached importance to the fact that the agreement to cease military actions was reached with the active mediation of Moscow: “Russian President Vladimir Putin talked by phone with his colleagues in Azerbaijan and Armenia. PM and Government chairman Dmitry Medevedev is today arriving in Yerevan and will visit Baku tomorrow. We also mediate on this issue on the level of the Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian heads of general staff.”

“Agreement was reached on stopping military actions and ceasing fire, which was announced. It is generally observed now. We are following the situation. The most important thing is for both sides to confirm their commitment to this regime,” Lavorv said.

The FM also noted that he is going to continue his talks with the Azerbaijani and Armenian colleagues. Specifically, on Friday he plans to meet with the Armenian FM in Moscow on the sidelines of the meeting of the Council of CIS Foreign Ministers. 

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