Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov brushed off the urgency and seriousness of Azerbaijani attacks on two Armenian villages in Hadrut on December 13, simply saying that at the time Russian peacekeepers were not stationed at the line of contact. He then praised efforts of his country to establish peace in the region.
“The only noticeable violation in the line of contact on December 13 took place in a location where there were no Russian peacekeepers,” Lavrov said during an interview with TASS. “The steps initiated by the command of our peacekeeping contingent in contacts with our Azerbaijani and Armenian colleagues allowed us to avoid an escalation of the incident. We will further continue making all efforts to not allow ceasefire violations.”
Azerbaijani armed forces, using heavy military equipment and vehicles attempted an invasion of the Hin-Tagher and Khtsabert villages in the Hadrut region of Artsakh, which fall under Armenian control following the November 9 agreement.
The Russian foreign minister said that through his country’s efforts, the situation in the conflict zone is “on its way to a resolution.” He added that there have not been any provocations against Russian peacekeepers.
Lavrov also expressed readiness to organize a meeting between Armenia and Azerbaijan for discussing the unresolved political issues in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
“As for the political issues which are still not resolved, I can reaffirm our readiness both at the national level and within the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to assist in organizing such meetings when the sides are ready to that,” Lavrov told TASS.
The Russian foreign minister said that currently the agenda is focused on not allowing any ceasefire violation, as well as clearing the territory from explosive objects, exchanging the prisoners of war and the bodies of the dead, ensuring the security of the return of refugees and internally displaced people, solving humanitarian problems, preserving the historical monuments regardless of their religious affiliation, unblocking transportation and economic ties.
“There is something positive in all these directions, but problems are emerging which are inevitable given the complexities of the situation,” he said.