Russia welcomes the preservation of relative stability on the border and along the contact line as further reduction of tensions could help create a favourable atmosphere at the talks, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Mediamax website ahead of his visit to Yerevan.
As for the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh, Lavrov said this is one of the most complicated issues.
“The heads of the countries that co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group have said more than once that this status must be determined at the talks by political means and based on the legally binding expression of will. The sides will still have to negotiate the parameters of this work, including its organisational aspects,” he said.
Russian Foreign Minister was also asked whether Armenia and Turkey could get back to normal without linking relations to the Karabakh settlement.
“When commenting on the signing of the protocols on behalf of our country, I said that Russia was ready to support this process through further efforts to carry out cooperation projects with Armenia and Turkey, primarily in the energy, transport and communications sectors,” the Foreign Minister added.
“Normalising ties between Armenia and Turkey is, first and foremost, an issue for Yerevan and Ankara to decide. Unfortunately, our partners have so far failed to restore their diplomatic relations. We believe Armenia and Turkey will continue working in this direction and the objective could still be achieved. On our part, we are prepared to provide whatever support the two sides might need, the more so because resolving disagreements between Armenia and Turkey as soon as possible would help improve the overall political environment in the South Caucasus and enhance security and stability there.”
Lavrov pointed to Yerevan’s “balanced and responsible” foreign policy is.
“We note the commitment of our Armenian friends to preserving and strengthening strategic partnership and alliance with Russia, and their energetic participation in various multilateral associations in the post-Soviet space.
Armenia’s current very involved and productive chairmanship in the EAEU is a clear confirmation of this. Within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, Moscow and Yerevan are working together to consistently build up the potential of collective security forces and means. Together with our Armenian colleagues we strive to maximise the use of significant opportunities created by the CIS, which unites most of the former Soviet republics.”