Russian FM welcomes Armenian-Azeri striving for NK settlement

RIA Novosti, Russia
July 6 2004


MOSCOW, July 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
has welcomed Armenia and Azerbaijan’s striving for the Nagorny
Karabakh (a region in Azerbaijan populated mainly by Armenians)

“We discussed the settlement issues and are satisfied with the
resumption of contacts between the Armenian and Azeri leaders and
ministers and promotion of the OSCE Minsk group’s activities,” Sergei
Lavrov told journalists following the talks with his Armenian
counterpart Vardan Oskanyan.

Speaking about the work of the OSCE Minsk group on the Nagorny
Karabakh settlement, the Russian minister said that the recent
meetings in this format prove that the sides are ready to search ways
to solve this problem.

The minister did not give practical settlement mechanisms. “The sides
agreed to continue discussion. It would be wrong to disclose details
of the talks,” Mr. Lavrov noted.

The Russian Foreign Minister positively assessed Vardan Oskanyan’s
first official visit to Russia.

According to Sergei Lavrov, Armenia and Russia boast long-term
friendly relations and are members of the Collective Security Treaty
Organization. Relations with Armenia is a priority of Russian policy,
he added.

The Russian and Armenian Foreign Ministers focused on the development
of economic and investment cooperation. Sergei Lavrov came out for
elaboration of additional economic projects. Moreover, they
considered transport development and Russia promised political
support to Armenia in this sphere, Sergei Lavrov said.