A day before the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan are scheduled to meet, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov visited Baku where he announced that military and technical cooperation is one key facets of the strategic partnership between Russia and Azerbaijan.
“I can only emphasize that military-technical cooperation is one of the important areas of strategic partnership between Moscow and Baku,” Lavrov said at a press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov on Tuesday.
“We are developing military-technical cooperation in full compliance with international legislation, with full balance in the region and the importance of maintaining stability,” added Lavrov.
Russia’s top diplomat is in Baku for a two-day visit, during which he expressed hope that meeting with Mammadyarov and Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, scheduled for Wednesday in Bratislava, Slovakia on the margins of an OSCE summit, will register progress in advance confidence building measures.
Lavrov hopes Azeri, Armenian top diplomats to make progress on trust-building matters
“We are interested in the implementation of the agreement on the measures of trust and media contacts that were reached at the Vienna summit and later at a ministerial meeting in Moscow. They are being gradually implemented and I hope a meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers due later this week will help consolidate these processes,” Lavrov said at a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Monday, reported the TASS news agency.
Lavrov also said he shared the Aliyev’s point of view that the sides must refrain from “rhetoric that runs counter to the basic principles undertaken by both sides and committed to paper in the United Nations Charter and the Helsinki Final Act.”
“I agree with you that much is yet to be done in terms of lasting political settlement,” Lavrov told Aliyev.
The Russian foreign minister said Tuesdsay that he anticipated a joint announcement emerging following the Mntasakanyan-Mammadyarov meeting that would include the signatures of the foreign minister of the Russia, France and the United States, the co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group.
“In addition to the meeting between the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia, the two ministers will have another meeting with the ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in Bratislava. This contact is in the pipeline,” Lavrov said at a press conference in Baku following talks with Mammadyarov.
“If it works out, we would like to adopt a five-party statement by the two ministers and three co-chairs. If for some reason it becomes impossible, the three co-chairs will probably ink their position on paper anyways, but I hope there will be a five-party statement,” Lavrov added.