MOSCOW — Russia is strongly opposed to any attempts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by military means, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday after talks with his visiting Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian.
“I am sure that despite the rhetoric, none of the interested parties wants such escalation. All actions are directed at finding a mutually accepted solution as soon as possible,” the top Russian diplomat said, adding that Moscow will continue efforts to see conditions created for the settlement of Karabakh conflict on the basis that would be acceptable both for Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Foreign Minister Nalbandian, for his part, stressed that there is no alternative to negotiations in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. But, as quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency, he said: “Till today Azerbaijan has rejected proposals of the Minsk Group co-chairs both on the essence of the settlement of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and on confidence-building measures.”
Lavrov also described Armenia as his country’s “reliable partner and ally.” “We value our centuries-old relations which have been cemented by the historical, cultural and spiritual proximity between the peoples of the two states,” he told a joint news conference in Moscow. “These relations have been developing steadily and have taken on a new quality in the context of Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union.”
The meeting with Nalbandian “reaffirmed the strategic and allied character of Russian-Armenian relations, added Lavrov.