Fly Arna becomes only Armenian carrier to attain IOSA Operator registration

 11:55, 21 August 2023

YEREVAN, AUGUST 21, ARMENPRESS. Fly Arna, Armenia’s national airline and a joint venture company between ANIF and Air Arabia Group, has announced a significant milestone in its commitment to ensuring safety and operational excellence. The airline has been successfully registered as an IOSA Operator under the IATA Operational Safety Audit program (IOSA), positioning it as the only Armenian carrier to attain this internationally recognized safety accreditation in Armenia.

This certification, valid for two years, was awarded to Fly Arna after a successful audit on its operational management and control systems. This comprehensive audit encompasses a rigorous evaluation of the airline’s policies, procedures, and practices, ensuring they meet and exceed global aviation standards.

Gayane Antonyan, Fly Arna spokesperson said:” We are proud to have been awarded the IOSA certificate, a recognition that underlines our unwavering commitment to adopt the world's top aviation safety standards. This achievement is a testament to our continuous dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of our passengers and crew."

Fly Arna said it remains dedicated to upholding the highest standards of safety and service excellence. The IOSA certificate not only acknowledges the airline's commitment to safety but also underscores its efforts to contribute positively to Armenia's aviation industry and broader international air travel community.

Talks Underway between Iran, Armenia to Adjust Transit Fees

Tasnim News Agency, Iran
Aug 26 2023

August, 26, 2023 – 09:54 Economy news

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Talks are ongoing between Tehran and Yerevan on adjusting customs tariffs for t entry of transit trucks and streamlining customs activities electronically at the border with Armenia, an official said.

Speaking at a meeting on Friday with the chairman of the State Revenue Committee of Armenia, Hojjatollah Abdolmaleki, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council of Free Trade-Industrial and Special Economic Zones said, “In line with the agreements made between presidents of the two countries, free industrial-trade and special economic zones are seeking to boost trade exchanges with the Republic of Armenia.”

Turning to efforts to increase the trade and transit exchanges with Armenia through the borderline located in Aras Free Zone, he called the streamlining of customs activities electronically at the border and adjusting customs tariffs for entry of cargo trucks as the two main topics discussed at the meeting.

The chairman of the State Revenue Committee of Armenia, for his part, said amicable relations and sound cooperation between Iran and Armenia are longstanding.

He added that increasing trade exchanges has great significance for Yerevan.

Armenia attaches great importance to its relation with Iran in all fields, he emphasized.

Azerbaijan Targets EU Observers in Armenia Before UN Security Council Meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh

Aug 16 2023

Azerbaijan Firing at Representatives of EU Observers in Armenia Prior to the UN Security Council Emergency Meeting on the Nagorno-Karabakh Blockade

STEPANAKERT, REPUBLIC OF ARTSAKH, / — Azerbaijan Firing at Representatives of EU Observers in Armenia Prior to the UN Security Council Emergency Meeting on the Nagorno-Karabakh Blockade

Today, the United Nations Security Council will be holding an emergency meeting in response to the appeal by Armenia saying that Nagorno-Karabakh is facing a full-fledged humanitarian catastrophe due to an unlawful blockade imposed by Azerbaijan. As a result, over 120,000 people of Nagorno-Karabakh have endured over eight months without unimpeded access to necessities such as food, medication, other essential goods, gas and electricity, while for already two months those people are under total siege without any supplies. This situation has led to documented cases of starvation and sharp increase of mortality rates there.

On the eve of the discussion in the UN SC, Azerbaijan is trying to escalate tensions in the region aiming to divert the international attention away from the illegal closure of the Lachin corridor. Yesterday the Azerbaijani Armed forces discharged fire targeting the representatives of EU observer mission in Armenia (EUMA) patrolling near Verin Shorzha and their vehicle. This occurred the day after the European Union Mission in Armenia officially denied the Azerbaijani disinformation concerning the concentration of Armenian Armed Forces on the border. It is important to remember that a mere two months ago, the Azerbaijani Ambassador to the European Union in his Twitter microblog issued threats of violence against members of the delegation of the European Parliament, who had visited the Armenian border area, urging them to stay away from the border with Azerbaijan.

The presence of both European officials and the EU observation mission poses obstacles for Azerbaijani aggressive policy, as they document the country’s provocations and even have directly countered Azerbaijani disinformation. By escalating the situation, Baku aims to discredit the EU mission, which it opposed from the outset, and, ultimately, to derail the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the Western platforms.

Azerbaijan employs various means, including official statements and an increasingly active propaganda machinery, to undermine the credibility of specific international actors engaged in mediation efforts. In the first place, of course, is France, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, which has unreservedly addressed concerns about the unlawful closure of the Lachin corridor and the escalation of the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh. Moreover, Azerbaijan accuses France of "deliberately increasing tensions in the region". The accusations have grown more serious after the French Foreign Minister expressed support for Armenia during a telephone conversation with the Armenian Foreign Minister prior to the UN Security Council meeting.

At the same time, Azerbaijan expresses confidence that a decision within the Security Council will be unattainable, and "promises" that any resolution passed by the UN will not force Baku to change its tactics. Moreover, Azerbaijan has been consistently disregarding international commitments made by the leaders of Armenia, Russia, and Azerbaijan in the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020, the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights of December 21, 2022, as well as the orders of the International Court of Justice of February 22 and July 6, 2023. It has been carrying out provocations accompanied by aggressive militaristic rhetoric. Rather than contributing to the establishment of confidence-building mechanisms, Azerbaijan continues to engage in grave international crimes and provocations, undermining the negotiation process and frame the UN Security Council discussion as an obstacle to negotiations.

In fact, the UN Security Council discussion could yield a range of outcomes: from dispatching a fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh and delivering humanitarian aid, to adopting a resolution that compels Azerbaijan to adhere to the decisions of the International Court of Justice.

Last week, Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, released an impartial report on Azerbaijan's imposed blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh. The report concluded that the ongoing situation constitutes genocide according to Article II of the Genocide Convention: "(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part." Ocampo emphasized that "Starvation is the invisible Genocide weapon. Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks."

Hence, the EU can and must stop this genocide utilizing its influential levers over Azerbaijan to save the indigenous people of Nagorno-Karabakh and to protect human rights worldwide.

Hagop Ipdjian
Unblock Humanity
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Letter to the Editor: Statement From the Burbank Armenian Association

Aug 12 2023

The Burbank Armenian Association, rooted deeply in the vibrant Armenian community of Burbank and beyond, stands as a beacon of cultural, educational, and social welfare. With heavy hearts, we express our profound concern for our brothers and sisters in the Republic of Artsakh. This cherished region, echoing with the songs and stories of generations of Armenians, is now ensnared in a suffocating blockade by Azerbaijan.

Imagine, if you will, the chilling winter of December 12, 2022. As snow blanketed the Lachin corridor, the lifeline road to Armenia, Azerbaijan began its blockade under the guise of “eco-activists.” The road’s heartbeat grew fainter as Azerbaijani forces expanded their stranglehold, severing alternative routes and casting shadows with military checkpoints. Essential lifelines like gas, electricity, and internet have been cruelly snuffed out, plunging Artsakh into a cold silence.

The spirit of Artsakh’s people remains unbroken, but their daily lives bear the scars of this blockade. Essential supplies dwindle. Hospital lights dim, postponing vital surgeries. Breadwinners return home with despair in their eyes, jobs lost, and the haunting specter of hunger looms over countless families. The very soul of Artsakh trembles, not just from deprivation, but from the indignities, intimidation, and injustices inflicted by Azerbaijani forces.

This is not just a blockade; it’s a heart-wrenching affront to humanity, threatening the delicate tapestry of peace and stability that binds our people together. Echoes of past agreements and international laws, including the 2020 ceasefire and the inherent right of self-determination for Artsakh, seem forgotten amidst this crisis. Every stifled voice, every darkened home, weakens the diligent peacekeeping endeavors of the OSCE Minsk Group.

We, at the Burbank Armenian Association, pledge our unwavering support for peaceful, community-driven actions. With tears in our eyes but resolve in our hearts, we call for justice, peace, and above all, compassion. Let’s unite in our commitment to shine a light on this humanitarian tragedy, for in unity, we find strength. Your understanding and heartfelt compassion mean the world to us.

Burbank Armenian Association

Justice belongs to those who seize the moment

Protest in Stepanakert against the blockade of Artsakh (Siranush Sargsyan, Twitter)

We live in a bizarre world. There are scores of countries populated by citizens who proudly proclaim the moral high ground on human rights and common decency, yet few of the governments of these nations actually use those values as guiding lights. We certainly have an abundance of public rhetoric to keep the record straight, but in the hallowed halls where policy is defined we are subjected to those haunting words—“self interests.” In the vernacular, this refers  to what allows one to maintain political power, economic impact or any other element of influence. In this game, the big guys use the smaller ones to advance their interests through “proxy” activities. 

The war in the Ukraine is an excellent example. At face value, the war is fought for democracy and freedom in the Ukraine, but if Ukraine was not a border nation for the re-invigorated East/West Cold War, then it would be ignored by the West. Ukraine serves as a convenient vehicle for weakening Russia, protecting the grain supply and crushing Russia’s fossil fuel exports. Self-interest drives behaviors that are inconsistent with the stated values of great nations. If your conflict happens to intersect with the self-interests of powerful nations, then you may pay a terrible price in human life, but eventually benefit. Who do you think will rebuild devastated Ukraine? In the age of modern warfare, when you can conduct military activity and minimize military human losses, we have discovered a new and even more efficient method in the Ukraine. Just give them billions of dollars in weaponry to kill Russian soldiers, whose army will then be required to kill more Ukrainian soldiers – all this without any American or European military casualties. I wonder if in this tragic proxy war of attrition, it has ever occurred to the “leaders” to sit down and find a compromise. Then the destruction of property and life would be minimized, and the larger goal of weakening Russia would be served.  Besides, there are hungry contractors waiting for the reconstruction. 

All nations caught in a proxy war are victims to the loss of human life. The public is fed the moral lines of freedom and democracy, while we support pseudo democratic leaders.

All nations caught in a proxy war are victims to the loss of human life. The public is fed the moral lines of freedom and democracy, while we support pseudo democratic leaders. We were lied to about Vietnam. Anyone from that generation remembers the “domino theory.” Foreign wars without an exit strategy are a disaster. There was plenty of information to say Vietnam was not winnable. Ask the French. At some point the military is replaced by politicians. We were lied to in Iraq. Remember the “weapons of mass destruction.” Still looking. We were managing a civil war that a dictator had kept the lid on. Same in Afghanistan. We went in to get the 9/11 terrorists and stayed 20 years to manage another civil war. The one lesson we have learned in this country is that we must never blame the soldiers. They serve with honor and are placed in harm’s way. 

This brings us to Artsakh. The cause of Artsakh is actually more pure in moral veracity compared to Ukraine, Bosnia or other areas of powerful intervention. The difference lies in the reality of self interest. How else can you explain the greatest democracy in the world, the U.S., enabling a vile dictatorship in Azerbaijan by refusing to enforce legislation specifically designed to prevent the U.S. military aid being used for offensive and destructive purposes? Azerbaijan has used that aid along with billions from NATO (code for U.S.) to Turkey to kill Armenians. The Republic of Artsakh has displayed remarkable growth in their democratic structures over the last thirty years, even while burdened by an unrecognized status and hostile neighbors. Meanwhile with abundant U.S. aid, Azerbaijan has sunk to the depths of a corrupt dictatorship. Turkey holds elections to legitimize the decommissioning of democracy by pseudo-Sultan Erdogan. All of this for the love of oil and gas and an alternative to Russian influence. The Europeans talk a good one, sending observers from numerous nations to witness the starvation plan of Azerbaijan towards Artsakh, yet aside from almost daily condemnation (easy to issue statements of moral correctness) there is little commitment. Predictably, calls to open the Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor are numerous and empathetic (USAID is the latest…it is ironic that we need provisions yet receive statements). Armenians receive sympathy while the Azeris do what they wish. Sympathy is for those who experience a death. What would commitment look like? I would suggest three areas: sell Armenia advanced military weaponry so it can defend itself; impose economic sanctions on the criminal regime of Azerbaijan that has spit in the face of international civility by ignoring the International Court of Justice ruling; observers are welcome, but armed peacekeepers are necessary. How do we motivate real support? It may require us to be a bit less cooperative. In our world where might does make at least reality, Artsakh is left, as incredible as it may seem, begging to prevent genocide. As “advanced” as our international peace infrastructure has become (at least regarding the hundreds of billions of dollars spent), we have been unable to prevent the worst crime on this planet with genocides committed in Cambodia, Darfur, Rwanda and Bosnia. These are only examples where we can agree on the definition. What about the hundreds of thousands slaughtered in Yemen or Syria? It is easy to call them conflicts or ethnic struggles. By any barometer, we have failed miserably. We stopped the killing in Bosnia because of “self-interest,” particularly on behalf of the Europeans. Who cares about Cambodia, Darfur, Rwanda or Artsakh? This is what we have to work with. I doubt we can change the equation, but we can change our approach.

We all seek justice, but just how is justice accomplished in this world of duplicity and deceit? Let’s take the case of Artsakh. All the Armenians of Artsakh want is to live in peace on the land they have lived on for centuries. The fact that Artsakh is not considered a part of the sovereign territory of Armenia is a reflection of injustices committed by external powers, including Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Why is it that the Armenians are the only ones following the rules? Azerbaijan has committed more atrocities than this column has space for, reneged on every agreement it has ever made, violated international laws and murdered at will. This behavior has been rewarded with no sanctions and a consensus of “territorial integrity” prevailing over “self-determination.” Why? Because they have taken advantage of every opportunity regardless of its legality and moral correctness. Has this weakened Azerbaijan’s position? Hardly. The Azeris understand that mediators have a high tolerance for their criminal behavior, even while they make a mockery of diplomacy. 

Armenia can learn from this and adjust its approach. It takes both parties for an agreement. In the meantime, Armenia is forced to participate in this three-level parallel process that has replaced the Minsk group with separate and competing meetings in Washington, Brussels and Moscow. It is similar to adult children having multiple holiday dinners because the parents don’t talk. Armenia makes no trouble for anyone, despite the partially self-imposed awkward circumstances. How insulting to attend a meeting after Aliyev shoots at civilians, attempts to starve Armenians and declares Armenia is “western Azerbaijan.” Despite the protocol of diplomacy which must accept vile rhetoric, this passes the humiliation litmus test.

Frankly, I am tired of hearing that Armenia can do nothing because it would result in a devastating war. We have already experienced that result. In addition to the loss, it has brought on a debilitating victim mentality where we feel incapable of dignity through resistance. We also forget that the presence of the Americans and Europeans (the latter on the ground with about 200 observers) is a deterrent. Even the dictator Aliyev doesn’t want any European casualties in an invasion. The Armenians have more leverage in this process than they perceive. The Americans and Europeans (perhaps not the Russians) are not about to impose a treaty. Armenia must be a conscious party. It has the opportunity to resist and respond to Aliyev’s outrageous behavior. A patient under the care of the International Committee of the Red Cross has been imprisoned by the Azeris. Prisoners are illegally kept in captivity. The blockade and border attacks on civilians continue. Armenia must respond to these intimidating tactics. It may be through a border confrontation or refusal to negotiate until these barbaric acts cease. Utilize leverage or create leverage where it doesn’t exist.

Justice belongs to those who seize opportunities. If you follow the rules imposed by others but broken by the adversarial party, those opportunities are minimized. You are taken for granted and assumed to be a defeated nation. This is less about physical capability, but more about attitude and vision. This week, a caravan of 19 trucks was delivered  by the Armenian side, while thousands of Artsakhtsis protested on the other end. This may be the beginning of a public resistance to the genocidal blockade…or it could fizzle out without the support of the government, diaspora and our friends. Seize the moment. The Armenians must introduce at the next meetings in Moscow, Washington and Brussels adjustments required to create a productive environment. They should directly link Azeri criminal intimidation with Armenia’s participation. The United States and Europeans are very invested in a treaty that outflanks Russian diplomacy and increases Western influence in the South Caucasus. We play by rules imposed by others and respond with victim-like statements. Perhaps it is time to reread the history of the Karabakh committee and freedom spirit from 1988-94. These meetings produce little except the proverbial press statements that always include words like “progress,” “substantial” and “optimistic,” when we know that the Turks feel they can use barbaric means to stimulate the process. It is time for Armenia to use its required participation in negotiations to create leverage as the grassroots activities blossom. We should have nothing to fear.   

Stepan was raised in the Armenian community of Indian Orchard, MA at the St. Gregory Parish. A former member of the AYF Central Executive and the Eastern Prelacy Executive Council, he also served many years as a delegate to the Eastern Diocesan Assembly. Currently , he serves as a member of the board and executive committee of the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR). He also serves on the board of the Armenian Heritage Foundation. Stepan is a retired executive in the computer storage industry and resides in the Boston area with his wife Susan. He has spent many years as a volunteer teacher of Armenian history and contemporary issues to the young generation and adults at schools, camps and churches. His interests include the Armenian diaspora, Armenia, sports and reading.

U.S. politician Sam Brownback calls for sanctions against Azerbaijan for humanitarian abuses in Nagorno-Karabakh

 11:12, 1 August 2023

YEREVAN, AUGUST 1, ARMENPRESS. Former U.S. senator Sam Brownback has said that Azerbaijan must be sanctioned for its humanitarian abuses in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“It is getting progressively worse for Christians in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Lanchin [sic] Corridor is closed, in spite of an agreement to keep it open. Azerbaijan must be sanctioned for their humanitarian abuses before it gets even worse. #SaveKarabakh,” the former United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback tweeted.

Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia and the rest of the world, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since late 2022. The Azerbaijani blockade constitutes a gross violation of the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh ceasefire agreement, which established that the 5km-wide Lachin Corridor shall be under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Furthermore, on February 22, 2023 the United Nations’ highest court – the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – ordered Azerbaijan to “take all steps at its disposal” to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.  Azerbaijan has been ignoring the order ever since. Moreover, Azerbaijan then illegally installed a checkpoint on Lachin Corridor. The blockade has led to shortages of essential products such as food and medication. Azerbaijan has also cut off gas and power supply into Nagorno Karabakh, with officials warning that Baku seeks to commit ethnic cleansing against Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh. Hospitals have suspended normal operations.

Over 600 Diaspora-Armenians participate in first-ever National Youth Forum

 14:41, 1 August 2023

YEREVAN, AUGUST 1, ARMENPRESS. 600 young Armenians representing the Diasporas in over 50 countries have gathered in Yerevan for the first-ever National Youth Forum organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs.

100 speakers from 15 countries are also in attendance.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs Zareh Sinanyan said that the goal of the forum is to enable young Diaspora-Armenians to engage in the development of Armenia, connect them with one another, and empower them to expand their work and impact in their communities.

Topics to be discussed at the forum will include the role of the youth, models of involving young people, protection of Armenian interests and national security, Armenia-Diaspora relations, identity, development of science and education, technological progress, repatriation, opportunities in Armenia and others.

Garik Israelian, an astrophysicist and co-founder of the Starmus Festival, is one of the special guests at the forum. He described the forum to be highly important for the youth in Armenia and the Diaspora.

“We’ve always said that the youth is our future, but that’s not the case, today’s youth is the present, because times have changed a lot, and today, teenagers aged 15-16 are capable of doing a lot more than twenty years earlier due to development of technologies, access to information and many other factors. And that’s why it is highly important to involve the youth in decision-making and listen to them in all platforms,” Israelian said.

Photos by Mkhitar Khachatryan

Armenian, Azerbaijani FMs to meet in Moscow


YEREVAN, JULY 21, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian side agreed to the proposal of a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan in Moscow, Ani Badalyan, spokesperson of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, told ARMENPRESS.

"The Armenian side agreed to the proposal of a meeting at the level of foreign ministers in Moscow," said the spokesperson.

The ministry will inform about other details.

A few days ago, the Russian side reaffirmed its willingness to organize a tripartite meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow to discuss ways of implementing the agreements, including the topic of the agreeing on a peace treaty.

Asbarez: GenEd Pays Homage to Prof. Richard G. Hovannisian

Prof. Richard Hovannisian with Dr. Vartiter Hovannisian and GenEd supporter, Helen Parnagian

The Genocide Education Project mourns the death of Richard G. Hovannisian, one of its founding advisory board members.

The renowned leader of Armenian Studies who passed away on July 10, 2023, was a highly esteemed mentor and counselor to GenEd, beginning from its infancy through its development into a nationwide educational non-profit, providing professional development services on teaching about genocide and the Armenian case to educators across the country. As recently as the 2020 Azeri-Turkish attack on Artsakh and its continuing effects, GenEd sought Prof. Hovannisian’s expertise to help put these current events in their proper historical context for educators GenEd serves.

“I was very fortunate to have been one of Professor Hovannisian’s students,” said Roxanne Makasdjian, GenEd Executive Director and founding board member. “His courses and life’s work inspired me to disseminate the lessons of Armenian history through my own endeavors, including GenEd.”

Roxanne Makasdjian with Prof. Richard Hovannissian

His pioneering leadership of Armenian Studies included the seminal books “Armenia on the Road to Independence,” the four-volume “Republic of Armenia,” the collection of essays by Armenian history scholars he edited, “The Armenian People: From Ancient to Modern Times,” as well as his hosting of the conferences, “Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces,” followed by print editions. Prof. Hovannisian was a champion of Armenian Genocide recognition and education, and GenEd is forever grateful to him for having collected approximately 1,000 interviews with Armenian Genocide survivors during his influential tenure as Chair of Modern Armenian History at UCLA. These first-person witness testimonies are critical to effective genocide education today.

Having partnered on educational projects with Prof. Hovannisian’s daughter, Ani, and son, Armen, in their respective capacities as documentary filmmaker and Armenian Bar Association board member), GenEd offers its sincere condolences to them and the entire Hovannisian family. May they find a measure of solace in his extraordinary contributions to the world, the Armenian nation, and to their personal lives.

With the deepest respect and gratitude – Thank you, Prof. Hovannisian. Rest in Peace.

EU’s Peaceful Push: Empowering Azerbaijan-Armenia Talks Amidst Russia’s Offer


Bussels: On Saturday, the European Union urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to avoid "violence and harsh rhetoric" at the most recent round of negotiations in a protracted peace process in which Russia is also attempting to maintain a dominant position.

Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia met with EU Council President Charles Michel in Brussels for talks aimed at ending more than three decades of hostilities.

The two nations have engaged in two wars over Nagorno-Karabakh, a small mountainous region that is a part of Azerbaijan but is home to about 120,000 ethnic Armenians, since the fall of the Soviet Union.

According to Armenia, the proposed peace treaty should grant them special rights and ensure their security. In a June interview with Reuters, Azerbaijan's foreign minister Jeyhun Bayramov rejected that demand, calling it unnecessary and an attempt to meddle in the internal affairs of the country.

The following actions that must be taken soon will determine whether or not there is real progress. In order to create the ideal atmosphere for peace and normalization talks, violence and abrasive rhetoric must end immediately, Michel said.

"The population on the ground needs reassurances, most importantly regarding their rights and security," he told reporters.

Michel claimed that in order to foster trust between Azerbaijan and the Armenians of Karabakh, the EU encouraged Azerbaijan to speak with them directly.

Aliyev and Pashinyan left without giving reporters a press briefing, so it was unclear how he responded. No nation recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh's de facto government, despite its claims to independence.

Along with the EU, the United States has been pressuring the parties to come to a peace agreement. The conflict in Ukraine has diverted Russia, the traditional power broker in the region, and it now runs the risk of having less influence.

On Saturday, Russia declared that it was prepared to arrange a trilateral meeting between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia at the level of foreign ministers. The Foreign Ministry stated in a statement that a summit in Moscow to sign a peace treaty could take place after this..

It stated that "reliable and clear guarantees of the rights and security of the Armenians of Karabakh" and implementation of prior agreements between Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia should be an essential component of this agreement.