Russian FM confident the issue of POWs will be solved in the near future

The relations between our countries are allied, and are built on the principle of strategic partnership, Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“At difficult times, the Russian Federation reached out to us to help solve the problems that had arisen as a result of the pandemic and the aggression against Karabakh. Thanks to the efforts of the Russian Federation, it became possible to stop the hostilities and achieve a significant mitigation of tension in our region. The presence of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno Karabakh today is a strong guarantee of security in Nagorno-Karabakh,” Pashinyan said.

He emphasized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s role in achieving peace in the region.

In this regard, he reiterated Armenia’s commitment to continue to take all measures to implement the agreements reached through the trilateral statements of November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021.

“We are also ready to make every effort to ensure a constructive dialogue between the parties in trilateral format,” the acting PM said, emphasizing, however, that Azerbaijan’s actions do not contribute to the progress of the trilateral dialogue at all.

“The actions of Baku, which manipulates the issue of the return of prisoners of war, carries out anti-Armenian Bacchanalia, lays territorial claims on Armenia, and have now begun to destroy the cultural and religious heritage of the Armenian people, are aimed at aggravating the situation in the region and frustrating the agreements reached,” Nikol Pashinyan stated.

In this context, he hailed the actions of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, whose latest statement is, in fact, a response to Azerbaijan’s destructive position.

“The position of the Co-Chairs expressed in the April 13 statement is in line with our position on the main issues today. In this regard, I would like to emphasize our position that the peace process needs to be restored in order to reach a final settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, based on the principles proposed by the Co-Chairs,” Pashinyan stated.

Sergey Lavrov noted, in turn, that Russia is committed to ensuring the security of its ally – the Republic of Armenia

“We highly appreciate the agreements reached on the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Thank you for emphasizing the role of Russia, personally President Putin, in the efforts that led to the cessation of hostilities and the coordination of a stable framework for further action by all parties,” Lavrov said.

“We most actively support the activities of the trilateral working group at the level of the Deputy Prime Ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, which deals with the most important issues at this stage – the unblocking of economic and transport infrastructure, which will allow to end the blockade of Armenia not only at the political level, but will also ensure mutually beneficial cooperation of all countries in the region for the benefit of the common good,” he said.

Undoubtedly, he said Russia will continue the peacekeeping mission in Nagorno Karabakh and assured that the peacekeepers will do their best to resolve the remaining issues related to the determination of a clear line of contact and the provision of mutually beneficial agreements on its crossing. “And, without a doubt, delimitation and demarcation between Armenia and Azerbaijan will be possible when all these steps are implemented,” he said.

“Together with the other OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, we continue to work to resolve all humanitarian issues, including completing the return of detainees. We understand the psychological significance of this step, we are sure that we will be able to solve this problem in the near future. It will create a positive, constructive atmosphere for us to move forward on all further issues of the final settlement. We will do our best to support the solution of these issues in all possible ways, in line with the implementation of the trilateral statements of November 9 January 11,” Lavrov stated.

The interlocutors discussed issues related to the agenda of the Armenian-Russian allied relations, touched upon the situation around Nagorno Karabakh, particularly the settlement of humanitarian issues.

Nikol Pashinyan drew Sergey Lavrov’s attention to Azerbaijan’s ongoing anti-Armenian rhetoric, referring to the opening of the so-called “trophy park” in Baku, which features anti-Armenian, degrading demonstrations.

The Russian Foreign Minister attached importance to the joint efforts to build a constructive atmosphere and dialogue in the region. Sergey Lavrov also assessed the talks with his Armenian counterpart as effective, shared his impressions from his visit to the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial today, noting that Russia is always by the side of the friendly Armenian people.

The parties exchanged views on the regional situation and security challenges.

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