Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Armenia

YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — The Prime Minister and the president of Armenia declared their full commitment to the implementation of the trilateral statement on Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday, when he and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu arrived for a visit.

“The Armenian leaders — we also met with the President of Armenia – both he and the Prime Minister stressed that this statement helped solve serious problems, helped save lives. And they are fully committed to ensuring that this agreement is fulfilled in the future,” Lavrov said on the results of the talks in Yerevan.

Welcoming the Russian Foreign Minister, Prime Minister Pashinyan said “the most important issue for us now is the situation in Nagorno Karabakh. We have to make decisions on many issues, the most important thing is the humanitarian side of the issue, we have to ensure the return of the people of Artsakh to their homes.”

Of course, he said, already now there is a rather good dynamic of the residents of Artsakh returning to their homes. And in fact the Russian peacekeepers have been deployed in all the designated places and are provide security.

“This is a very important factor that ensures the security of the people of Nagorno Karabakh. But there are issues that have not been resolved and remain open: how will we ensure the exercise of the right of return of the residents of several regions in the future, who will ensure the security of our compatriots, how will it be implemented? These, of course, are issues that are on our agenda. We must discuss and make decisions in that regard,” PM Pashinyan said.

Sergey Lavrov, in turn, thanked the Armenian leaders for the welcome and noted that the Russian delegation arrived in Yerevan within the framework of Pashinyan’s agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, in order to fully address all areas of cooperation, the allied, strategic relations.

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“The November 9 statement provides an opportunity to resolve issues in Nagorno Karabakh on the basis of agreements reached in a document signed by the three leaders. First of all, it refers to the return of refugees, the solution of all humanitarian issues of the current situation,” Lavrov said.

He thanked PM Pashinyan for his appreciation of the role played by the Russian peacekeepers, which is important not only in terms of security as a key component of their mandate, but also in terms of ongoing support for the returning people  who need humanitarian assistance.

“And in addition to the role of peacekeepers, the interdepartmental center, which is being established by President Putin’s order, is already starting its work, and will also deal specifically with all these issues. We actively involve the international organizations of the UN system, we encourage them to use their opportunities in a more active, more proactive way for the people of that region. We actively support the International Committee of the Red Cross, which works, including in Karabakh,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.

According to Lavrov, the ceasefire agreement is an uncontested way of resolving the situation in the region, and attempts to question it are unacceptable.

Lavrov, left, with Prime Minister Pashinyan in Yerevan

Closer Relations with Russia

The Armenian leadership reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening allied relations with Russia, Lavrov said on Saturday following the visit of the Russian interdepartmental delegation to Armenia.

“The Armenian leadership has confirmed the course towards developing and deepening allied relations with the Russian Federation,” he said.

Russia expects that trade and economic ties between Moscow and Yerevan will build up positive dynamics, Lavrov added. “Of course, we very much hope that our trade, economic, investment ties, which, by the way, were minimally affected during coronavirus pandemic, will build up positive dynamics,” he said.

In addition to Lavrov and Shoygu, the delegation from Russia included Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, and Head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova.


Baku Visit

The Russian delegation went on to Baku after its meetings in Yerevan for similar consultations with Azerbaijani officials.

During the visit, Lavrov said Azerbaijan and Armenia are sovereign states that have the right to choose their foreign policy partners.

“Turkey is a real factor in the region, and not only in this particular region. Turkey is our partner in many fields,” he pointed out. “As a sovereign state, Azerbaijan clearly has the right to choose its foreign policy partners, as well as Armenia,” Lavrov added.

According to the Russian top diplomat, “the art of politics is to take all factors that impact the situation in a region into account when promoting various initiatives.”


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