MOSCOW, Russia—“The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict poses a direct threat to the security, stability and future development of Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated during a press briefing on Friday.
She stressed that there are no alternative to a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict, and hailed public initiatives spearheading the conflict resolution. “We highly appreciate the role of public diplomacy in facilitating the resolution of conflicts. The most important mission is to root in social circles of the conflicting parties awareness of inevitability of peaceful solution for mutually acceptable negotiations. We believe that any initiative should be aimed at precisely that, and welcome any public initiatives that have set themselves this very specific mission,” she said.
When asked to comment on the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement regarding the Karabakh conflict as “a threat to stability in the region and U.S. national security interests,” Zakharova refrained from answering.
During his Senate hearing, Senator Ed Markey asked Tillerson to comment on the stability in the Caucasus through peace in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well the holding Azerbaijan accountable for ceasefire violations. The then unsworn Secretary of State advocated for a peaceful resolution to the Artsakh conflict. “If confirmed, I will work with the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan to find a peaceful, long-term solution that allows for stability and prosperity in the region,” he said. “The first step in this process must be to build trust by ensuring that all agreements between the parties are respected,” he concluded.