Lavrov says Karabakh peace process is coming to a standstill
The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, has been in Armenia for the past two days.
“All the components for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict are in place. They are included in a number of documents which were handed over to the OSCE Secretary General in 2007, 2009 and 2011 and are fixed as proposals of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. They are on the negotiating table.
“These components are part of a package and it is difficult to take one, two or three of them and put them forward as the basis [for resolving the conflict] because in such a case, other balancing components would be left out and we would not be able to achieve the result we intended to,” Lavrov said.
Sergey Lavrov believes it is a good sign that the recent meeting held between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Geneva was assessed by the two as useful for both countries:
“But it is very important that this positive attitude help move us forward in the direction of resolving the conflict. The co-chairs are working on this. Recently, the heads of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in Moscow with the co-chairs.”
“We will analyze the situation we are in with our American and French colleagues and we will make all the necessary efforts to resolve the situation. One shouldn’t however have extreme optimism in these negotiations. Unfortunately, experience shows that the problem is very difficult and the negotiations won’t end soon.”
Armenian analysts have already commented on Lavrov’s ‘messages’:
“It would appear that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia is stating that the Karabakh peace process will be frozen or that such a process is beginning, and this process is being lead by Washington, Moscow and Paris. Otherwise, he would have expressed concern that the sides are moving forward too slowly and that the resolution process is being drawn out,” writes Aram Amatuni on 1in.am.
Political scientist Manvel Sargsyan believes that Lavrov’s statements don’t reveal anything new. In his opinion, if the sides wanted to resolve the conflict they wouldn’t limit themselves to statements. Moreover, both Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as the countries of the OSCE Minsk Group are using the negotiating process as a platform for dialogue and raising their own political image and weight.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia arrived in Yerevan from Baku where he also spent two days during an official state visit. Before the visit to the region, Sergey Lavrov stated that the aim of the visit was to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, said the following about the anniversary of diplomatic relations:
“Today, Armenian-Russian relations can be classified as indeed allied. I also share this opinion because relations on all levels are notable for their intense dialogue, wide coordination in external politics, fruitful cooperation on international platforms and excellent interaction in the economic, military and humanitarian spheres.”
To mark the occasion, Sergey Lavrov and Eduard Nalbandyan opened an exhibition of historical photographs and documents entitled ‘Armenia-Russia: friendship, proven for centuries’.