12  10.03.14 - Joint press conference of Armenian FM Edward Nalbandyan and Serbian FM Ivan Mrkić

Foreign Minister talks Ukraine crisis, OSCE MG meeting

Foreign Minister talks Ukraine crisis, OSCE MG meeting

PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenia supports peaceful settlement of the crisis in Ukraine, Foreign Minster said.

At the March 10 news conference, Edward Nalbandian expressed hope for the problem to be resolved legally. The official, however, refused to comment on Armenia's stance in case CSTO becomes involved in the crisis. As he noted, the issue hasn't yet been discussed at the CSTO, so Armenia will express its position when it's actually included in the agenda.

Ukraine saw a change of power, complete with signs of a coup on February 22. Rada stripped President Viktor Yanukovych of powers, altered constitution, putting parliament speaker Alexander Turchinov in charge of presidential duties with the elections scheduled for May 25. Yanukovych stated that he left Ukraine under duress and remains the legally elected leader of the state.

A number of regions in the eastern and southern Ukraine didn't recognize the legitimacy of Rada's decisions, declaring Yanukovych's ouster illegal, and announcing a March 16 referendum to determine their fate.

As Nalbandian further noted, a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs Igor Popov, Jacques Faure and James Warlick has been scheduled for March 11 with the Group's mediation activities ongoing. As he noted, his meeting with the Azeri Foreign Minister will take place as soon as suitable conditions are created.

According to foreign ministry press service, Nalbandian will be leaving for Paris this week, with a March 13 meeting with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius planned.

In an earlier interview with APA, Russian Co-chair Igor Popov pointed out positive aspects in the conflict settlement talks. However, he said, approximation of positions remains a hard task. "After a long break, another meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia was held in Vienna on November 19, 2013. They discussed a range of issues on the settlement of Karabakh problem. The two sides decided to accelerate the process of negotiations. The main directions that require special attention were determined.

Ministers of Foreign Affairs were given relevant instructions, consultations were carried out on the basis of the instructions. Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian met twice. The most contentious issues were discussed in details at these meetings. The negotiations show that there are positive aspects. However, it is not so easy to bring closer the positions of the parties. Difficulties in the negotiation process correspond to the complexity of the conflict. The parties intend to move forward. We are currently conducting consultations with our French and American colleagues, ministers separately.

We met with Nalbandian on February 22. We plan to meet Mammadyarov in the near future. If we achieve options that will satisfy the parties, joint meetings will be accessible, first at the ministerial level, and then the issue of summit will be considered, as agreed by the presidents in Vienna. We will continue our consultations in the region," Popov said.

3  10.03.14 - RA Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandyan receives Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić
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