Russia hopes compromise to be reached in Karabakh settlement

ITAR-TASS News Agency
February 2, 2005 Wednesday 4:19 AM Eastern Time

Russia hopes compromise to be reached in Karabakh settlement

By Kseniya Kaminskaya, Viktor Shulman


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Russia
actively participates in the settlement in the mostly Armenian
populated Azerbaijani enclave of Nagorno Karabakh, and expects that a
compromise will be reached in that conflict.

“Russia actively participates in the Karabakh settlement as well as
in the settlement of conflicts in Georgia and Moldova,” Lavrov said
after talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mamedyarov.

As Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia “has been concentrated
for the past few months on the issue of a peace settlement of the
Karabakh conflict, taking into consideration the ‘Prague Process’.”

In 2004, the Co-Chairs (Russia, France and the United States)
initiated a series of meetings in Prague between the Foreign
Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The “Prague Process” was
designed to reinvigorate dialogue between the sides.

“The Russian co-chairman of the Minsk Group on Nagorno Karabakh, Yuri
Merzlyakov, has recently met with American colleagues,” Lavrov said.
“We expect that the process will end in a compromise,” he emphasized.

Focusing on conflicts in Georgia, the minister said “Moscow comes out
in favor of the implementation of all earlier reached agreements on
Abkhazia, including the Sochi agreements” as well as in favor of
“stabilization of the situation in South Ossetia”.

The Sochi agreements include a return of refugees to the Gali
district of Georgia’s self-style republic, resumption of rail traffic
from Sochi to Tbilisi via Abkhazia, and the renovation of the Inguri
Hydroelectric Station.

“So far as the Dniester Region settlement is concerned, Moscow
believes the memorandum of Dmitry Kozak is a basis for an agreement,”
he said. According to the minister “all components exist for the
settlement of the Dniester Region issue”.

He said Russia would keep working on those settlements with due
regard for its status. In reply to a query about contacts between
Baku and NATO, Lavrov remarked that Azerbaijan “chooses foreign
policy partners proceeding from its interests”. He also stressed that
“Russia enjoys good relations with NATO, which reflects our

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress