June 8, 2021 - 18:49 AMT
Top Russian, French, German diplomats discuss Yerevan-Baku crisis

Foreign Ministers of Russia, France and Germany Sergei Lavrov, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Heiko Maas discussed the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in a telephone conversation on Monday, June 7.

The three also weighed in on the process of the implementation of provisions of trilateral statements from November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021, the press service of the Russian Foreign Ministry says.

The foreign policy chiefs of the three countries stressed the need for strict adherence to the ceasefire and the need to resolve disputes through political and diplomatic means. They reaffirmed the role of the OSCE Minsk Group in the negotiation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Lavrov noted, however, that the involvement of any international organization in the process is possible only with the consent of Yerevan and Baku.

According to a press release from the French diplomacy, Le Drian noted his country's full commitment to deescalating tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan and resolving pending issues stemming from last fall’s conflict between the two countries. In this regard, he reaffirmed France's desire to continue coordinating closely with Russia, particularly as one of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group, together with the United States, and within relevant international bodies.

The French Foreign Minister underlined the importance of initiating negotiations between the parties on the challenges of demarcating and delineating the border, unconnected with developments on the ground. He reiterated the need for the parties to show the utmost restraint and to refrain from any provocations.

On the morning of May 12, the armed forces of Azerbaijan violated the border of Armenia in the southern province of Syunik, advancing 3.5 kilometers and surrounding Sev Lake, which is situated on the border between the two countries but is predominantly a part of Armenia. On May 13, the Azerbaijani military committed more border violations against Armenia, advancing near Vardenis (Gegharkunik province) and Sisian (Syunik province). One Armenian serviceman was killed in Azerbaijan’s shooting on May 25, six troops were captured on May 27, and another one on June 8.