Russia hopes for close relations with Ukraine, Georgia

Russia hopes for close relations with Ukraine, Georgia

ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland
Feb 18 2005

MOSCOW, Feb 17, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) — Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov stated in Yerevan, capital of Armenia, on Thursday, that
Russia intends to “develop close good-neighbourly, friendly relations
with Ukraine and with Georgia”, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

Meeting with students and teachers of Russo-Armenian (Slavlc) State
University, Lavrov said Russia will support any agreement on settling
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Commenting on a possible peacekeeping mission in the conflict zone,
Lavrov said all stages of the conflict’s settlement talks have dealt
with options and mechanisms that will help put the parties’ future
agreements into practice.

“Steps to deploy peacekeeping forces in the Karabakh conflict zone
depend on the parties themselves and their agreements,” Lavrov was
quoted by Interfax as saying.

Azerbaijan lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven neighboring
districts in a conflict with Armenia in the 1990s.

The Russian minister also expressed the hope that his forthcoming
talks in Georgia on Friday will be able to make progress in a numbers
of areas where the two countries could reach agreement.

“We aim for solutions of these matters”, the minister said. ” The
schedule and procedure of the withdrawal of Russian military bases
from the Georgian territory, for instance, must be coordinated, and
there is the common readiness to set up joint anti-terrorist centres”,
Lavrov said, according to the Itar-Tass.

Moscow wishes to see Georgia as a friendly, good-neighbourly,
prosperous country, and will be striving to assist it in settlement
of the regional conflicts, Lavrov said.

The minister will be in Kiev on Monday and will meet with the
Ukrainian leaders.

“We are aware of the interest of the Ukrainian side in the development
of our cooperation to the benefit of the two countries and peoples”,
Lavrov noted.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress