YEREVAN, January 27. /ARKA/. Apart from Russia, Iran and Turkey, there are many other countries, including in Europe that want to join the economic recovery in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a joint press briefing on Tuesday with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“And I think that this can only be welcomed. The main thing here is that all external players think, first of all, that it is now very important to create and strengthen, make reliable and solid the economic foundation for the future life of this South Caucasus region,” he said.
In response to an Azerbaijani journalist’s question whether there will be new challenges that the three countries will have to face on the way to peace, Lavrov said: “If you mean Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, not only these countries but also Iran, Turkey, Georgia, which is part of the South Caucasus are interested that the this region lives in peace with good-neighborly relations and in prosperity,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov stressed that there are already initiatives that the three South Caucasian countries and their three neighbors – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – start building new relations taking into account the new reality.
“The reality is that there is no war and there is an agreement to lift all blockades and other restrictions on normal life in this very important part of the globe,” he said.
According to the Russian minister, Russia has no doubts that the Islamic Republic of Iran will be interested in joining these projects, and Russia will also directly participate in the efforts that follow from the agreements on unblocking economic and transport ties.
“There are already concrete plans, a trilateral mechanism has been created at the level of deputy prime ministers, which should hold the first meeting in the near future,” he said.
On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijani armed forces, backed by Turkey and foreign mercenaries and terrorists, attacked Nagorno-Karabakh along the entire front line using rocket and artillery weapons, heavy armored vehicles, military aircraft and prohibited types of weapons such as cluster bombs and phosphorus weapons.
After 44 days of the war, on November 9, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities. According to the document, the parties stopped at where they were at that time. The town of Shushi, the districts of Agdam, Kelbajar and Lachin were handed over to Azerbaijan, with the exception of a 5-kilometer corridor connecting Karabakh with Armenia.
A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed along the contact line in Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor. Internally displaced persons and refugees are returning to Karabakh and adjacent regions, prisoners of war, hostages and other detained persons and bodies of the dead are being exchanged.