Lavrov calls for monitoring mechanism in Nagorno-Karabakh as tensions escalate

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said it would be right to put Russian military observers along the line of contact in Nagorno Karabakh in order to ensure a ceasefire.

Speaking at a press conference today, the Foreign Minister noted that the final decision is up to Yerevan and Baku, adding, however, that without a political settlement between the two countries any military solution to the conflict won’t work.

Lavrov believes a political settlement of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is possible, the proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in this regard remain on the negotiating table.

“Of course, a political settlement is possible. The proposals that the co-chairs have worked through and continue to work through remain on the negotiating table, their content is already known,” Lavrov stated.

The Russian Foreign Minister also noted that the military of the conflicting parties must immediately organize meetings to agree on a regime for monitoring the ceasefire.

“When politicians and diplomats declare an agreement to cease fire, the military immediately, in order for this to be successful, agree on the ground what specific measures should be taken for this,” he explained.

Lavrov said that on October 14 by telephone he confirmed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov Russia’s message to the parties to the conflict in Karabakh about the need to immediately coordinate control over the ceasefire through the military.

“Our main message is that it is nevertheless necessary to immediately meet along the line of contact and agree on the very mechanism for monitoring the ceasefire, which is mentioned in our document, which no one has even begun to discuss yet,” Lavrov said.

The Russian Federation does not rule out that Russian military observers may be included in the mechanism for monitoring the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. “Now, not even peacekeepers [should participate in the verification mechanism], but military observers, there would be enough of them. We believe that it would be perfectly correct if these were our military observers, but the parties will have a final say. Of course, we we proceed from the fact that both Yerevan and Baku will take into account our allied relations, relations of strategic partnership, “the minister said.

In his words, the mechanism of control over the observance of the ceasefire regime should work on the line of actual contact between the forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russia does not share Turkey’s point of view on the possibility of a military solution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Lavrov said. “We do not agree with the position voiced by Turkey, which, in fact, has been expressed several times by the President of [Azerbaijan, Ilham] Aliyev. There is no secret, we cannot share the opinion that a military solution to the conflict is possible,” he said.

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