YEREVAN—The foreign ministers of Armenia and Russia, Edward Nalbandian and Sergey Lavrov met Tuesday on the second day of the visit by the top Russian diplomat to Armenia, who said the proposals for the Karabakh conflict resolution should be considered as “one package.”
“It’s hard to take two or three of them and say ‘let’s reach an agreement on the basis of these,’” said Lavrov while speaking to reporters after the meeting.
Lavrov reiterated that that all components of the conflict resolution are enshrined in numerous documents that have been submitted to the OSCE Secretary General. “These include the proposals of the Co-Chairs, which are still on the table.”
Lavrov welcomed the positive reaction of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to their recent meeting in Geneva saying, “It’s important for this positive attitude to help us move towards settlement.”
The Russian foreign minister said that he will be consulting with his French and American counterparts to see “where we are in the resolution process,” with the aim of intensifying efforts to create favorable conditions to advance the peace process.
However, he did say that Lavrov said he’s not very optimistic about perspectives, considering that the “issue is a complex one.”
“The experience of negotiations shows they will not be completed any time soon,” Lavrov stated.
Both leaders highlighted the importance of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ efforts aimed at implementation of the decisions made during the Vienna and St. Petersburg summits, as well as last month’s talks between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Geneva.
During the press briefing, Nalbandian said, “it would be good if Azerbaijan’s actions corresponded with its words,” especially when it comes to the agreements on easing tensions.
He said “Armenia is ready to continue the negotiations on the basis of the three principles incorporated in the five statements made by the leaders of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairing countries with an aim of finding a solution to the Karabakh conflict.” He added that Azerbaijan is doing its best to avoid those statements.
Nalbandian said, “Armenia has never retreated from agreements” and voiced hope that Azerbaijan would change its stance. “Armenia is ready to work with the Co-Chairs towards an exceptionally peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict.”
Nalbandian added that there will be no agreement between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in December, noting that “all principles for a conflict resolution are on the table. We have been long holding talks on the main principles of the Karabakh conflict resolution for a long time.”
He added that negotiations should continue despite the “not very constructive position” of Azerbaijan and emphasized that Armenia did not see any other alternative to the negotiation process.
Following the press conference, Lavrov met with President Serzh Sarkisian and briefed on the results of his meeting with Nalbandian.
Lavrov’s visit to Armenia is being framed as a celebration marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Russia and the 20th anniversary of the signing of a friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance treaty.
“Our relations are rightfully described as partnership of strategic alliance. I fully share this view, because at all levels they are marked with high-level political dialogue, wide coordination of foreign policy, fruitful cooperation on international platforms, cohesive interaction in economic, military, military-technical and humanitarian spheres,” Sarkisian told Lavrov.
“I will not repeat myself if I say that as a matter of fact, there is no sphere of human activity in which Russia and Armenia have not developed real mechanisms of practical cooperation. The fact that you highly appreciate our cooperation in the field of foreign policy is a great honor for us. We will try to live up to your and the Russian President’s confidence,” Lavrov told Sarkisian.