The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement according to which recent activity by Armenia and Azerbaijan in the negotiation process on the Nagorno Karabakh settlement “testifies to the intention of the parties to take concrete steps to prepare the population for peace.”
In April 2019, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov organized a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mammadyarov, which was also attended by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. In order to develop the agreements reached between the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Vienna, concrete proposals were worked out aimed at creating an atmosphere conducive to the resumption of the negotiation process on the settlement.
“Among them (the proposals - Ed.) are measures to further stabilize the situation in the conflict zone, to alleviate the condition of persons in custody on the territory of the parties,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“The sides agreed on mutual trips for media representatives, some key issues of settlement were discussed. A number of these proposals have been implemented. The situation at the border and the line of contact remains relatively calm. There is a communication line between Yerevan and Baku. Mutual trips of journalists were arranged. Captives Zaven Karapetyan and Ilvin Ibragimov repatriated. Work is underway on other prisoners. The ICRC is working on it. We believe that all this testifies to the intention of the parties to take concrete steps aimed at preparing the populations for peace. This, in particular, was discussed at a recent meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Geneva. The parties have expressed readiness to continue the search for compromise. We support this attitude. There is a basis for continuing work. The important thing is to show political will.”
The Foreign Ministry said Russia has always taken an active mediating position in the Karabakh settlement process.