There is increased speculation that Russia is preparing a new initiative on Karabakh after Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov visited Russia for the second time in as many months on Friday (17 July). Mammadyarov met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Lavrov told journalists after the meeting that it is time to intensify talks on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Lavrov however hastened to add that Russia was working closely on this issue with the other two co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Process, the United States and France.
Russian media also reported that after his meeting with Mammadyarov, Lavrov also discussed the Karabakh issue in a telephone conversation with the Armenian Foreign Minister, Edward Nalbandian.
The co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Process were in Moscow earlier this week for consultations with the Russian Government, including with State Secretary Karasin.
Russia took the leading role in the Karabakh negotiations in 2008, with the former Russian president Dimitri Medvedev hosting several meetings of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents. The initiative however faltered in Kazan in 2011, and ever since meetings between the two presidents have been sporadic.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies.
During the meeting, issues related to relations between Armenia and the European Union, and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were discussed