Stepanakert says meeting of Armenian, Azerbaijani FMs important, but expects no breakthrough

Official Stepanakert says the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan is important, but expects no breakthrough in the Karabakh peace process.

“Expecting a serious step towards comprehensive settlement is too untimely, as Azerbaijan’s non-constructive stance, its explicit anti-Armenian policy leaves no room for that,” Spokesman for the Artsakh President David Babayan said in an interview with Public Radio of Armenia.

He added, however, that such meetings are very important in the sense that they ensure the continuity of the peace process. Besides, he said, it’s a good platform for the superpowers represented by the Minsk Group chairing countries (three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council), to express their opinion, which is also important for the maintenance of peace and stability.

Speaking about the recent statements of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, David Babayan said the mediators are sending several messages to the parties. “First, they underline that any use of force is unacceptable. Second, there is progress with regard to concrete steps. We see a practice never used before. The mediators  were earlier committed to the strategy of refraining from further aggravation of the situation by putting an equation mark between the sides,” David Babayan said.

The Spokesperson also recalled the previous statement, in which the Co-Chairs clearly indicated that it was Azerbaijan violating the ceasefire regime. Besides, he emphasized the Russian Foreign Ministry’s call for Baku to end discrimination against Russian citizens with Armenian surnames, which could also be seen as an indirect message.

As for the recent supply of a new batch of Russian weapons to Azerbaijan, Babayan said “Stepanakert is concerned by the fact.” “We have always been critical of supply of weapons to Azerbaijan not only by Russian, but also Israel, Pakistan and some Western countries,” he said, advising not to focus on one concrete country, i.e. Russia.

“Supplying weapons to a country like Azerbaijan is very dangerous. Russia will once come to understand that the weapon is being used against it. The fact of Azerbaijani militants fighting against Russian forces in Syria is a vivid proof of this,” he said.

“If we look deeper, the supply of weapons to Azerbaijan allows Russia to provide more advanced weapons to Armenia in the future based on considerations of maintaining the balance,” Babayan added.

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