“Russia attaches importance to a quick resumption of visits to Karabakh by the Minsk Group co-chairs in their full format,” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told reporters.
In that regard, Zakharova reaffirmed Moscow’s support for the Minsk Group’s continued activities.
“The format of the OSCE Minsk Group enjoys broad international support,” she said. “The Russian Foreign Ministry also attaches importance to the troika’s efforts in the context of addressing socioeconomic and humanitarian issues facing the region.”
The mediating troika had for decades travelled to Karabakh and met with its leadership during regular tours of the conflict zone. The visits practically stopped with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent outbreak of the Armenian-Azerbaijani war.
The mediators were widely expected to resume their shuttle diplomacy after organizing talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in New York on September 24. It is still not clear when they could arrive in the region.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian suggested over the weekend that their planned trip is delayed by Azerbaijan. He said he asked the Minsk Group’s U.S. co-chair, Andrew Schofer, about reasons for the delay when the latter accompanied a senior U.S. State Department official on a visit to Yerevan last week.
“He said they are working towards making the visit,” Pashinian told Armenian Public Television. “I think that it’s overdue, I think that it should have already taken place. I presume that the Azerbaijani side is creating some obstacles.”
Azerbaijani leaders have repeatedly said that Baku’s victory in last year’s war ended the Karabakh conflict. Armenia as well as the United States and France have publicly insisted that the conflict remains unresolved.