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April 18
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The difficulties are clear, and they arise from sharp issues, including historical stratification that exists and, unfortunately, mainly conditions the relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This is what Ambassador of Russia to Armenia Sergey Kopirkin said in an interview with Orbeli Analytical Center of the Government of Armenia, in response to the question about what difficulties Russia faces as a mediator and during the peacekeeping mission, on the backdrop of the serious processes in the region that are conditioned by the 44-day war.

“It is necessary to take into consideration the fully contradicting approaches of the sides to the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the impact of the political factors in the country and the interests of third countries and geopolitical role-players. Russia understands those interests, but if there is sincere interest in turning the South Caucasus into a region for peace, security and development, all the engaged sides need to be guided by at least the well-known principle of ‘not harming’,” the Ambassador stated.

Kopirkin added that, in his opinion, when assessing the situation in the region and in the zone of responsibility of peacekeepers, it is necessary to be guided by the opinions of the people living in the region and in that zone. He said the Russian peacekeeping contingent is performing its primary task and is guaranteeing maintenance of the ceasefire regime, making an essential contribution to the stabilization of the situation and ensuring of regional security. “Yes, unfortunately, there are incidents, and necessary measures are taken to prevent escalation of the situation in each case. We proceed from the fact that all the provisions of the trilateral statements need to be fully implemented. Constructive dialogue is important, and Russia is making all possible efforts for this. To solve the problem with the detainees, consistent steps are being taken. The result of all this was the return of another ten citizens of Armenia from Azerbaijan on Dec. 4. Overall, 15 citizens of Armenia have already returned to their homeland through Russian mediation,” he said.

Kopirkin also mentioned that Russia is also ready to make all efforts to contribute to the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan by supporting the initiatives for the establishment and expansion of relations at all levels, including dialogue between representatives of societies in order to create an atmosphere of confidence between the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples. “Besides the mediation efforts through national capacities, Russia continues to make those efforts as a part of the format of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group,” he said.

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