Armenia said on Thursday that Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian did not discuss with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov a 2016 Russian plant to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh at their meeting held in Moscow on Monday.
Azerbaijani media quoted Mammadyarov as saying that the plan proposed by Russia shortly after the April 2016 fighting in Karabakh was on the agenda of his talks with Mnatsakanian. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who mediated the talks, confirmed this on Wednesday.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Anna Naghdalian, denied Mammadyarov’s claim, however.
“No negotiations on any plan are underway at present,” she said in written comments to RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “Furthermore, the substantive part of [Armenian-Azerbaijani] discussions continues to center on getting familiarized with, clarifying and ascertaining each other’s positions.”
Naghdalian said Mammadyarov’s claim undermined efforts to boost “mutual trust” between the conflicting parties because it contradicted a joint statement issued by the three foreign ministers after the Moscow meeting.
According to that statement, the warring sides reaffirmed their earlier pledges to strengthen the ceasefire regime and take other confidence-building measures in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. Mnatsakanian and Mammadyarov also “exchanged detailed views on key aspects of the settlement process,” it said without elaborating.
The Russian peace plan has still not been made public. Lavrov on Wednesday refused to disclose its key details. He said only that the plan is in tune with the basic principles of a Karabakh settlement which have repeatedly been laid out by the U.S., Russian and French mediators in recent years.
In a March 9 statement, the mediators reiterated that “any fair and lasting settlement” must involve “return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control; an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance; a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh; future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will.”