Press Release on latest developments around Nagorno-Karabakh
Since the very first exchange of strikes around Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia has been doing its best, both in the bilateral format and as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, for an immediate de-escalation of the conflict and a return to the negotiating table.
On October 5, the three Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, the USA and France, adopted a joint statement which condemned in the strongest terms the unprecedented and dangerous escalation of violence in and outside of the Nagorno-Karabakh zone. After a series of telephone conversations with President of Azerbaijan I. Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia N. Pashinyan, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin proposed an initiative for a ceasefire for humanitarian reasons and talks on all aspects of a settlement.
On October 9-10, Moscow hosted a trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, which after 11 hours of negotiations made it possible to reach a ceasefire agreement with a subsequent resumption of talks with OSCE Minsk Group mediation.
This agreement clearly states the need for an immediate ceasefire for humanitarian reasons and monitoring it. The sides are to exchange prisoners, detainees, and the bodies of the dead, and start a resumption of the political process under the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in line with the principles of settlement that were drafted in this framework.
This does not mean that the problems will be resolved quickly or simultaneously. A political negotiating process is required, but it would be a mistake to delay the resumption of this process. The mechanisms of control over a ceasefire would be drafted separately. The work on these issues is going on with Russia’s participation, and with the co-chairs rendering feasible assistance. The International Committee of the Red Cross, with which Russia is also in contact, is ready to join these efforts as soon as the situation “on the ground” is being stabilized.
On October 13 the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to take immediate steps to execute in full the obligations of the sides according to the October 10 Moscow statement, in order to prevent catastrophic consequences for the region. They reiterated that civilian casualties are unacceptable under any circumstances.
The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana