"Russia has always taken an active mediating position. Assisting the parties in resolving this protracted conflict is one of our unconditional foreign policy priorities," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said in an interview with Russian Today, ONA's Moscow bureau reports.
Mr. Rudenko emphasized that the Garabagh issue remains in the focus of the attention of the President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: "This circumstance attaches particular importance to the ongoing mediation activities, determines the increased attention to its results. Among the documents signed with the direct assistance of Russia - the 1994 Ceasefire Agreement, is still the basis for a ceasefire. An important stage on the path of the mediation efforts of our country was the adoption in 2008 of the Moscow Declaration, which states a political settlement of the Nagorno Garabagh conflict. This is the first and so far the only document on the Nagorno Garabagh settlement, which signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia. As you know, Russia played a decisive role in ending the large-scale hostilities in 2016 by inviting the chiefs of the general staffs of Azerbaijan and Armenia to Moscow."
Rudenko noted that Russia implements the mediation mission in close contact with the French and the US partners: “In April last year in Moscow, a meeting of ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan was organized by Sergei Lavrov which was also attended by co-chairs of Minsk Group of OSCE. At that meeting, in furtherance of the agreements achieved between Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan in Vienna last year, the concrete proposals aimed at creation of the environment favoring restoration of negotiation process regarding settlement of the conflict in a substantial manner. Among the proposals, there are the measures for further stabilization of situation in the conflict zone, for easement of fate of the persons being in prison on the territories of the parties. The mutual trips of representatives of mass media have been agreed upon, some key problems of settlement of the conflict were considered. A number of these proposals have been implemented. The situation on the border and the line of contact of the troops remains relatively calm. A communication line is functioning between Yerevan and Baku. The mutual trips of journalists have been implemented. Zaven Karapetyan and Elvin Ibrahimov kept prisoner have been returned. The work on exchange of other prisoners is being continued. International Committee of the Red Cross has been involved in this work. We think that all these measures testify to the parties’ intention to take concrete steps aimed at preparation of people for peace. In particular, this intention was discussed at the recent meeting of ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Geneva. The parties have stated their readiness to continue the search for compromise solutions. We support this attitude. There is a ground for continuation of the work. What’s most important is to show political will”.