Accuses U.S. of ‘obstructing’ regional peace efforts
Russia is ready to take part in what it calls “post conflict restoration of territories returned to Azerbaijan,” the country’s foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Thursday during a press briefing where she also accused the United States of “obstructing” efforts to establish peace in the region.
“As far as I understand, the territories are the ones that were returned to Azerbaijan under the statement that the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan signed on November 9, 2020,” said Zakharova.
“Russian economic operators are ready to participate in the post-conflict reconstruction of those territories. On July 23 of this year, a mission of businessmen led by the Deputy Economic Development Minister was in Baku to determine the prospects for cooperation, and from November 17 to 18, a group of Russian companies is planning to visit Azerbaijan again,” announced Zakharova.
The spokesperson cited a groundbreaking for a joint maintenance and auto production center for the Russian truck manufacturer KAMAZ, slated to take place in occupied Mekhakavan (Jebrail), as an example of Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation.
“Of course, Russia is interested in the expansion of Russian businesses in Azerbaijan and views such cooperation as a key component of the relations between Moscow and Baku,”added Zakharova.
In discussing issues directly related to the conflict settlement process, Zakharova welcomed the release of five Armenian prisoners of war this week, touting Russia’s role in that process.
Moscow welcomes Baku’s act of releasing five Armenian prisoners of war and hopes the process of returning the detainees continues, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova said today.
“Overall, 112 detainees have been exchanged through the mediation efforts of Russia since December 2020 (105 detainees have been returned to Armenia, 17 detainees have been returned to Azerbaijan). We plan to continue to support the normalization of relations between Baku and Yerevan in all directions,” said Zakharova.
She went on to accuse the U.S. of obstructing efforts to establish peace in the region, citing the so-called 3 + 3 initiative, which is a scenario proposed by Turkey and Azerbaijan and envisions the participation of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia and Iran in a scheme that involves treating the region as one large entity.
“Russia supported the initiative. We proceed from the fact that the development of multilateral regional cooperation clearly meets the interests of all the proposed participants of the given format. In our opinion, this mechanism will help increase trust in interstate relations, settle differences and identify the economic, transport and humanitarian potential in the region,” explained Zakharova.
“We see several Western states and, first and foremost, the United States in obstructing certain processes,” she said. “Russia supports the format, but it an initiative proposed by other counties. Once again, I would like to state that Russia supports the launch of the “3+3” effort for all the participants.”
She also discussed Moscow’s position regarding a proposal by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who called for the establishment of investigative mechanisms to monitor ceasefire violations in and around Karabakh.
“The situation in the zone of responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, including the recent incidents were discussed during the trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia in Minsk on October 14,” explained Zakharova, adding the matter is regularly discussed by the Russian peacekeeping command and militaries of Armenia and Azerbaijan.