Lavrov connects progress in Karabakh talks with Armenian domestic political situation
02 November 2018

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said progress in negotiations for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was very unlikely as long as the internal political situation in Armenia remains unsettled.

Lavrov was answering a journalisit's question in Moscow following a meeting with the Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Thomas Greminger.

Lavrov said that Russia is one of the three countries co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group, and it is in this format that quite intensive efforts have been made in recent years to find ways to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"As far as I know, the agreement reached during the Dushanbe meeting between the Acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev was that contacts should be continued, that the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet, that Armenia and Azerbaijan are ready to work with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair. We welcome such an agreement, although, of course, we understand that, as long as the rather vigorous domestic political processes in Armenia, which we are now witnessing, are not completed, it will hardly be possible to seriously consider concrete ways out of this crisis and ensure a full-fledged Nagorno-Karabakh settlement."

Lavrov said that despite the extraordinary parliamentary elections to be held in Armenia in December. the co-Chairmen visited the region, met with leadership  and also met with foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan. "Maintaining such contacts is important so that, as soon as circumstances allow, steps can be taken to seriously address issues related to the resolution of the crisis."

Lavrov also commented on possible involvement of the leadership of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the negotiations

"As for the repeated statements of Nikol Pashinyan about the need to involve the Nagorno-Karabakh party in the negotiations, we have already commented on them. This is an issue that must be resolved by the parties to the conflict themselves. At one time, Karabakh representatives participated in the talks between Baku and Yerevan. At the suggestion of the Armenian leadership, this practice has been changed, and negotiations for many years have been conducted directly only between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Of course, we proceed from the fact that Yerevan, in its negotiating positions, takes into account the approaches of Karabakh, but in order to change the current bilateral format, the consent of both parties is required. As far as we know, there is no such agreement. I would not put forward preconditions to begin to consider the essential issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement", Lavrov said.

source: with the press service of the foreign ministry of the Russian Federation.

photo: Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, and OSCE Secretary General Thomas Germinger at their meeting in Moscow on 2 November 2018