5  23.06.14 - Armenian Foreign minister Edward Nalbandyan receives Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
9  23.06.14 - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visits Tsitsernakaberd Memorial
6  23.06.14 - Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan receives Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russia FM talks Karabakh, Turkey, trade turnover in Yerevan

Russia FM talks Karabakh, Turkey, trade turnover in Yerevan

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia favors the dialogue between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, Russia’s Foreign Minister said Monday, June 23, according to ITAR-TASS.

“We’ll help find solutions to the remaining unsettled issues,” Sergei Lavrov said at the joint news conference with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian in Yerevan.

“Now it is necessary to coordinate the parameters of the Nagorno Karabakh settlement in compliance with the statements, made by the Russian, U.S. and French presidents in the last 4-5 years,” Lavrov said.

“Consistent steps should be taken to continue the work of the OSCE Minsk Group,” he said.

“Russia will do its best to continue the dialogue between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents,” Lavrov said, noting that the effectiveness of Karabakh talks depends on the regularity of the presidential meetings.

Foreign Minister Nalbandian was further asked to comment on Russia’s possible assistance in normalizing relations with Turkey, Panorama.am reported.

“Russia takes every effort to assist in the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations,” Nalbandian said.

As he noted, Lavrov was present at the signing of the Armenian-Turkish Protocols in Zurich in October 2009, which is also a sign of Russia’s assistance in the rapprochement.

“Russia as well as the other countries supporting the process expressed their position in numerous statements, suggesting that the Armenian Turkish Protocols must be ratified without preconditions,” Nalbandian said.

Lavrov, in turn, stressed that Russia supports normalization of relations between Yerevan and Ankara and that before and after the signing of the Protocols, Moscow expressed its willingness to contribute to the normalization process.

The Foreign Ministers also discussed Yerevan’s participation in Eurasian integration and cooperation within international structures, ITAR-TASS said.

“Russia backs Armenia’s involvement in Eurasian integration. We discussed cooperation in different international organizations, including within the UN, the Council of Europe, the CIS, the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] and the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization],” Lavrov told a news conference.

“Russia and Armenia maintain strategic partnership based on centuries-long friendship, mutual assistance and good-neighborliness. This is an important factor for ensuring stability of our states and maintaining regional stability,” Lavrov said.

“The regular and trust-based high-level dialogue gives an impetus to our multilateral relations. Today we’ve discussed implementation of agreements, reached in the course of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Yerevan last year and at the meeting between our presidents in Moscow on May 8,” he said.

“We hail the work of the intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation. Similar commission for military-technical cooperation also operates. Recently the inter-parliamentary commission has met. We expect the Armenian speaker to arrive in Moscow in early July,” he said.

“We believe that strengthening of inter-parliamentary relations will facilitate further development of cooperation,” Lavrov said.

“Trade turnover between Russia and Armenia increases. The figures, cited by Mr Nalbandian- over 10% per year - are serious,” he said.

“Russia’s investments in the Armenian economy reach over $3 billion. Many Russian companies — Gazprom, Russian Railways, VTB, Inter RAO EES and others work in Armenia,” Lavrov said.

Later, at a meeting with President Serzh Sargsyan, Lavrov expressed hope for good news from Sochi today (June 23), where Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union is being discussed.

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out as result of the ethnic cleansing launched by the Azeri authorities in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 (when the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was proclaimed) to 1994 (when a ceasefire was sealed by Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan). Most of Nagorno Karabakh and a security zone consisting of 7 regions are now under control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.

The Armenian-Turkish Protocols

The Protocols aimed at normalization of bilateral ties and opening of the border between Armenia and Turkey were signed in Zurich by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on October 10, 2009, after a series of diplomatic talks held through Swiss mediation.

On January 12, 2010, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia found the protocols conformable to the country’s Organic Law.

Commenting on the CC ruling, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “it contains preconditions and restrictive provisions which impair the letter and spirit of the Protocols.” ”The decision undermines the very reason for negotiating these Protocols as well as their fundamental objective. This approach cannot be accepted on our part. Turkey, in line with its accustomed allegiance to its international commitments, maintains its adherence to the primary provisions of these Protocols. We expect the same allegiance from the Armenian government,” the Ministry said.

The OSCE Minsk Group

The OSCE Minsk Group was created in 1992 to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The Minsk Group is headed by a Co-Chairmanship consisting of France, Russia and the United States. The main objectives of the Minsk Process are as follows: Providing an appropriate framework for conflict resolution in the way of assuring the negotiation process supported by the Minsk Group; Obtaining conclusion by the Parties of an agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict in order to permit the convening of the Minsk Conference; Promoting the peace process by deploying OSCE multinational peacekeeping forces.

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