MOSCOW — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wants a comprehensive document, “Basic settlement principles”, to be drafted for Nagorno-Karabakh, RF Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated in an interview with Voice of Russia.
“Russia is assisting the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process as one of the three OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, as well as as a nation having especially friendly relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is personally dealing with the issue. He has held seven or eight meetings with the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents, making a most serious attempt to go deep into the still existing disagreements and resolve them,” Lavrov said.
According to him, the U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group are now trying to work out a “statement” on Karabakh that would be signed by the parties and the mediating powers at Astana. “I hope that they will succeed,” he said.
“But I can not say yet that at the summit in Astana we will succeed in achieving a real breakthrough regarding the settlement itself,” Lavrov told the state-run Russian broadcaster. “This is a very painstaking work. This work involves the need to reconcile the sometimes diametrically opposite positions of the parties, and it is incompatible with any haste.”
“If the Astana summit contributes to further progress [in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks,] then that will be a serious achievement,” he added.
Lavrov said in August that Moscow wants Baku and Yerevan to sign an interim agreement on Karabakh that would leave out the “two or three issues” that have not yet been agreed upon. He said both Washington and Paris support this idea.
One of those sticking points relates to a future referendum on Nagorno-Karabakh’s status proposed by the mediators.

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