Itar-Tass, Russia
March 3, 2011 Thursday 6:59 PM EST

OSCE Minsk Group main format of talks on Nagorno-Karabakh

VIENNA March 3


The OSCE Minsk Group should continue as the main format of the talks
on Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, Anvar Azimov, Russia's permanent
representative to the OSCE, said here on Thursday. He addressed the
meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in which Armenian Foreign
Minister Edward Nalbandian took part.

"As the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and in a bilateral format we
are ready to do our utmost to help the sides bring the long-awaited
settlement closer," Azimov said.

"Russia's stand is consistent and constant," Azimov said. "We don't
want recipes being imposed on the parties to the conflict from the
outside. We proceed from the view that the Azerbaijani and the
Armenian sides should be mainly responsible for the final choice of
the way of solving the problem. Russia is ready to support the variant
of solving the problem that would suit all the parties concerned, and,
if a compromise arrangement is reached, to act as the guarantor of the
settlement. We regard as viable the solution that will not turn the
region into an arena of international military-political rivalry and
will allow restoring stability and calm in the Transcaucasia," he
said.

The Russian representative expressed utter disagreement with whose
call in question the effectiveness of the work of the OSCE Minsk Group
and who believe that the process of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement
stalled because of the difference of the stands of the conflicting
parties.

In this connection he recalled the achievements of last year that
happened to be highly productive. Thus, thanks to Russia's
initiatives, among other things, the working out of the basic
principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement continued. Three
trilateral summits were arranged with the participation of the Russian
president. Three rounds of the talks of the foreign ministers of
Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia were held. This practice continued this
year. Awareness was achieved during these meetings that most
supplements to the draft of the principles the Azerbaijani and
Armenian sides proposed were acceptable. Differences on some matters
of principle were cleared. Moreover, the joint statement on
Nagorno-Karabakh settlement recording a number of its basic principles
was passed on the sidelines of the OSCE summit in Astana by the heads
of the delegations of Russia, United States, France, Azerbaijan and
Armenia.

The Russian representative expressed the hope that the next trilateral
summit in Sochi due on March 5, 2011, will consolidate this positive
trend.




From: A. Papazian