Russian FM Lavrov and FM Oskanian focus on NK settlement

July 6 2004

Russian FM Segei Lavrov and his Armenian counterpart Vardan Oskanian
focus on Nagorno-Karabakh settlement

MOSCOW, July 2 (Itar-Tass) – Russian Foreign Minister Segei Lavrov
and his Armenian counterpart Vardan Oskanian are discussing ways to
settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

`Russia is ready to help settle the conflict and take on the role of
a guarantor to an agreement the two parties will come to,’ Russian
Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said earlier. `The
conflicting parties should find a compromise to resolve the problem.’

The two parties are expected to discuss cooperation in the CIS
format, including in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation
(CSTO) and the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC). They will also
discuss pooling the two foreign ministry’s efforts to improve the
situation in the Northern Caucasus.

Bilateral trade and economic cooperation are on the top of the
agenda. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, in 2003 trade
turnover between Armenia and Russian grew by 34.5 percent to reach
203.3 million U.S. dollars. Russian exports went up by 33.5 percent
to reach 126.6 million U.S. dollars and imports by 36 percent to
reach 77.1 million U.S. dollars.