The Russian Foreign Ministry said they looked into “issues of coordinating further mediation efforts” by the United States, Russia and France.
Lavrov also discussed with the mediators the situation in the Karabakh conflict zone in the wake of a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement that stopped the Armenian-Azerbaijani war on November 10, the ministry said in a statement. It gave no other details.
Russian President Vladimir Putin brokered the ceasefire agreement six weeks after the start of the war that killed thousands of Armenian and Azerbaijani soldiers. Putin suggested on Tuesday that the agreement may have laid the groundwork for a “long-term and full-fledged resolution” of the conflict.
The deal calls, among other things, for the deployment in the conflict zone of around 2,000 Russian peacekeepers and the return of refugees and internally displaced persons. But it says nothing about Karabakh’s future status, the main bone of contention. This is expected to be a key focus of Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations which the mediators hope will resume soon.
Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to “re-engage with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs for a lasting solution” to the dispute.
Pompeo said the solution should be based on the internationally recognized principles of nonuse of force, territorial integrity of states, people’s self-determination. The U.S., Russia and France have long advocated such a peace formula.
Pompeo discussed the Karabakh conflict with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian when he visited Paris on Monday. According to a U.S. State Department official, the two men acknowledged Russia’s role in ending the hostilities while concurring that Moscow should further clarify terms of the truce accord and Turkey’s role in its implementation.