'It was Russia again that played the crucial role in the cessation of large-scale hostilities at the beginning of April 2016'
Baku. 5 August. REPORT.AZ/ 'Russia’s bond with Azerbaijan and Armenia builds on deep historical roots, the strategic nature of our relations, and geographical proximity. Therefore, it is our genuine interest that the neighboring region is peaceful and calm again, that casualties stop, borders open, and economic ties are restored there'.
Report informs, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin told in his interview to Azerbaijan State News Agency (AZƏRTAC).
'We are doing our utmost for that. I recall that, in May 1994, the ceasefire agreement was signed with the direct assistance of Russia, and it is still the basis of the truce. The adoption of the 2008 Moscow Declaration was an important step. It confirms that a conflict settlement should be achieved through political means alone. By the way, this is the first and still the only document on the Nagorny Karabakh settlement signed by the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia. It was Russia again that played the crucial role in the cessation of large-scale hostilities at the beginning of April 2016' Putin stressed.
He emphasized that they are not trying to impose some readymade solutions upon Azerbaijan and Armenia: 'The sides should reach an agreement and find mutually acceptable solutions independently, without external pressure. This is our firm position'.
'Reaching a compromise means finding an optimal balance between the principles of territorial integrity and the right of peoples to self-determination. We are fully aware of the responsibility that rests on the shoulders of the Azerbaijani and Armenian leadership. We welcome the constructive approach that prevailed during the latest summit on the conflict settlement held on June 20, 2016, in St. Petersburg.
The final goal of the settlement should be an agreement with no winning or losing sides, with mutual concessions and benefits for both sides that are clear to the public in both Azerbaijan and Armenia.
In its turn, Russia is ready to support a solution that would be acceptable to all parties involved and, together with other mediators, to act as a guarantor of the settlement.
I would like to touch on one more issue. We often hear that Russia is trying to monopolize the work related to the settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict and push other mediators aside. That is a misconception. The trilateral summits on the Karabakh issue with the participation of the Russian President – there have been more than twenty such summits – perfectly complement the efforts by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by Russia, the US and France to settle this conflict. It should be noted that US and French representatives attended the concluding part of the abovementioned trilateral summit in St. Petersburg.
The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, and the Minister of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry, Harlem Desir, were, in their turn, invited to the meeting between Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan held on the initiative of the US in Vienna on May 16, 2016.
Such an approach is an example of how we can and should work to settle international conflicts. I hope that our joint efforts will help the sides to reach a consensual solution'.