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Monday, March 19, 2018

Putin, Aliyev and Sargsyan agreed on joint statement on Karabakh without sensationalism

The meeting between Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan in St. Petersburg did not create any sensation. However, they did not expect. Nagorno-Karabakh is among the so-called “intractable conflicts,” at least for the reason that the opposing parties have no common ground. It’s like the Palestinians and the Israelis – only much closer to the Russian borders.

photo: AP

In a statement issued following the talks, the three presidents could only confirm achieved on the latest Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Vienna agreements aimed at stabilizing the situation in the region. “The conversation was very constructive, trusting and open. It showed that there is every reason to give fresh momentum to the negotiations”, – said released to journalists by the Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

According to him, the normalization of the situation on the contact line between the conflicting parties agreed to increase the number of OSCE observers. However, no specifics on this score the statement also does not contain.

Now the observance of the cease-fire following 6 people. Lavrov stressed that Russia in this process is not going to interfere: “the Prevention of incidents, investigation of incidents undertaken by the Secretariat of the OSCE.”

By the way, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group (the Russian Federation, in addition, it includes representatives of the United States and France), which is authorized to engage in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, took on the final part of the meeting.

Earlier, the OSCE planned to hold talks between Armenian and Azeri presidents at the end of June in Paris, resented the fact that the Kremlin has seized her initiative and once again wants to impose on Europe its rules of the game. According to Lavrov, the OSCE Secretariat conducts relevant researches and strives to offer something to the parties.” However, Russia is using its special relationship with Armenia and with Azerbaijan reserves the right to continue to hold talks on the situation in the NKR in a trilateral format.

Had there been in St. Petersburg a secret “Lavrov plan”, which allegedly contains fundamentally new approaches to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, remained a mystery. The Minister said earlier that there is no “plan B” does not exist: Russia, like all stakeholders, is based on the principle “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

Since 2008, when Barack Obama, Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy as intermediaries approved 3 principles and 6 points “plan A”, in fact, nothing has changed.

Three principles: nonuse of force and threats of force, right to self-determination and territorial integrity.

Six points: the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh by referendum, an interim status recognized by the international community before the referendum, ensuring land communication between Karabakh and Armenia, international security guarantees, including the deployment of peacekeepers, return of all refugees after guaranteeing their safety finally, the return of the territories.

The negotiations over this plan, against which in General do not object Baku and Yerevan, last for years. But the devil, as you know, is in the details. As in the case with the Minsk agreements for Donbass is not clear, in what sequence should these steps be undertaken and who bears the greater responsibility. Moreover, Yerevan, after watching Moscow’s behavior, demands to make the negotiations themselves, the people of Karabakh, insisting that without their consent any agreement would have little chance of success.

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