The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is only emerging from a hot phase, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated on Monday, opening negotiations with Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazian.
“We are just coming out of the hot phase of the Nagono Karabakh conflict. I would like to note the importance, which everyone has to recognize today, of the joint statement that was signed by the Prime Minister of Armenia, the President of Azerbaijan and the President of the Russian Federation on November 9, which stopped the war and secured an agreement allowing both refugees and internally displaced persons to return to their homes,” Lavrov said.
The Russian Foreign Minister stated that the agreements reached can contribute to the transformation of the South Caucasus “from a region of contradictions into a region of stability and prosperity in the interests of all peoples living there.”
“We will do our best to promote progress in this direction,” the Minister stressed. He recalled that to advance this goal, Russian peacekeepers are actively working in the region, who also contribute to the early completion of the process of exchanging prisoners and returning the bodies of the dead.
In addition, Moscow is interested in cooperation with international structures in restoring peaceful life in Nagorno-Karabakh, Lavrov continued.
“We strongly support the activities of international organizations that are ready to invest their resources, experience and potential in the restoration of peaceful life [in Nagorno-Karabakh],” he noted.
In particular, he said, the Russian leadership decided to allocate an additional one-time voluntary contribution to the ICRC budget, which for many years he has been working in the region, including Yerevan and Baku, and directly in Stepanakert.
Opening the talks, Lavrov also recalled the anniversary of the 1988 Spitak earthquake: “We offer our condolences. We remember how broad the response in the Soviet Union was to this tragedy. I hope that our collective readiness for this kind of natural disasters is much higher today. We hope that there will be fewer of them. Cataclysms that are associated with human activities occur much more often, to our great regret. “