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Russia Calls For Ceasefire Control Mechanisms In Karabakh


RUSSIA -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart following their talks in Moscow on October 12, 2020.

A sustainable ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh would be difficult to achieve without agreements on effective control mechanisms, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

In an interview with the Russian Kommersant daily on November 3 Lavrov said that such mechanisms could include the use of various electronic devices, a hot line between Yerevan and Baku, observers under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), operations with the participation of military contingents.

“However, it has not yet been possible to agree on all the parameters,” he added.

Russia brokered the first of the three humanitarian ceasefires to halt ongoing military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh on October 10. However, that ceasefire as well as the two other agreements brokered by France and the United States later last month collapsed within hours after entering into force.

The top Russian diplomat said that although it was not immediately possible to achieve a sustainable ceasefire, Moscow will “continue to use all its influence in the region to persuade Baku and Yerevan to sit down at the negotiating table.”

“Moscow once again calls on the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and external partners to strictly respect the agreements on ceasefire, the creation of a control mechanism and the resumption of a substantial negotiation process with a specific timetable,” Lavrov said.

In the interview the Russian foreign minister also addressed the issue of mercenaries from the Middle East involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh fighting, saying that the number of such fighters is approaching 2,000. He said that the Russian leadership periodically raises this issue and that this issue was also raised by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 27.

Lavrov once again stressed that Russia is against changing the format of the mediation, which is currently led by Russia, the United States and France, but, noting the important role and influence of Turkey on Azerbaijan, said that “Moscow is working and will continue to work with Turkey to bring the parties to the conflict to the negotiating table.”

“We will continue to use all the influence we have in the region, we will work with our Turkish partners to stop the further unwinding of the military scenario, establish a dialogue between the parties and convince Baku and Yerevan to sit down at the negotiating table,” the top Russian diplomat said.

Earlier this week the Kremlin said that Russian President Vladimir Putin held separate telephone conversations with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, on November 1 and November 2, respectively, and that “issues of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were discussed in detail” during the phone calls.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko, however, said that it is too early to speak about a possible meeting between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

According to him, at the moment negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are being conducted at the expert level, primarily within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Rudenko once again stressed that Moscow stands for a political settlement of the conflict.

“We definitely assume that there can be no military solution to this conflict, that the solution should be a political, comprehensive one taking into account the interests of all parties concerned,” he said.

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