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Yerevan Wants Joint Peace Efforts By U.S., Russia, France


Armenia - Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian mees with EU envoy Toivo Klaar, Yerevan, June 3, 2022.

Armenia’s leadership on Friday called for renewed joint activities of U.S., Russian and French mediators co-heading the OSCE Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh.

The United States, Russia and France have for decades jointly tried to broker an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace accord. According to Russian officials, Washington and Paris stopped cooperating with Moscow in the Minsk Group format following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. U.S. and French officials have not denied that.

In a phone call on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian reportedly discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin the possibility of kick-starting the work of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Pashinian also raised the matter with Toivo Klaar, the European Union’s special envoy for the South Caucasus, at a meeting held in Yerevan on Friday.

“In the context of regional peace and the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Nikol Pashinian emphasized the importance of the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chairmanship,” the Armenian government’s press office said in a statement on the meeting.

At a separate meeting with Klaar, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan likewise “reaffirmed the importance of restoring the work of the OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chairmanship,” according to the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

An EU official told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service earlier in the day that the Minsk Group is “not valid any longer.” The official also claimed that it is the EU, rather than Russia, that now plays the central role in the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process.

The head of the EU’s top decision-making body, Charles Michel, has hosted three face-to-face meetings between Pashinian and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev since December. Meeting with Klaar, Pashinian praised Michel’s “efforts aimed at regional stability.”

Unlike Baku, successive Armenian governments have regarded the Minsk Group as the principal international platform for a Karabakh settlement and praised the work of its three co-chairs. Pashinian’s domestic political opponents now accuse him of helping Baku kill that format by agreeing to the EU’s direct involvement in the peace process.

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