By Rashid Shirinov
The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be resolved only through negotiations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on June 6.
“There is no other way except for negotiations,” said Lavrov when addressing the students of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, TASS agency reported.
The conflict between two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
He stressed that despite a set of principles has already been worked out during talks, it is necessary to agree on a number of very complex details covering very sensitive issues.
“But we do not stop doing our best,” he said. “As you know, Russia together with the U.S. and France, is a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, as part of which we regularly meet with the sides of the conflict.”
After the April 2016 escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in St. Petersburg.
In April 2017, Russia once again brought the sides together. This time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers. They discussed the prospects for the progress of the negotiation process on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.
Armenia still controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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