Interfax, Russia
May 30, 2013 Thursday 3:43 PM MSK

Azerbaijan and Armenia should develop humanitarian contacts to
foster the Karabakh conflict settlement, Special Envoy of the Russian
President for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi said.

"Nobody wants a war. Development of humanitarian contacts is very
important to us because no matter what decisions are made it is
essential they are made by the people," he told reporters in Baku
on Thursday.

A dialogue between national administrations and societies is needed
for settling the Karabakh problem, Shvydkoi said. "I am positive that
any contacts between public organizations, between civil societies
also have paramount importance," he stressed.

"People must understand why particular decisions have been made,"
Shvydkoi added.

The Russian presidential envoy said he expected some progress to be
made after the Azeri presidential election in October 2013. "Although,
they should not waste time because the public in Azerbaijan, Armenia
and the international community are waiting for normalization steps,"
he said.

"I want to say once again that any efforts of the sort are welcome.

The Russian position is clear - we want stability in the South
Caucasus and stability in interstate relations, because we have
strategic friendship with Armenia and strategic friendship with
Azerbaijan. Stability is crucial for us. I hope that common sense
will win in the end," Shvydkoi said.

Te mk