One of the key topics of the annual final press conference of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Answering the question of the Armenian media about the status of Artsakh, the Russian Foreign Minister said.
"The statement of November 9 has started to be implemented effectively. This was confirmed by the President Aliyev and the Prime Minister Pashinyan. Apart from the issue of captives I mentioned, which arose a month after the signing of the declaration, everything else is being implemented quite effectively. The process of agreeing on the mandate of peacekeepers is currently underway. It must be agreed with the 3 parties. This was discussed during the January 11 meeting in Moscow.
The status of Karabakh is not mentioned in the November 9 statement. It was done consciously. The area where the peacekeepers are stationed is considered their area of responsibility. This is the fact that we rely on in our contacts with Yerevan and Baku.
The details of transport communication, peacekeeping and assistance to the people living there are currently being worked out. More than 50,000 people have already returned. We also want other international organizations besides the Red Cross to be present in the region, first and foremost the UNESCO, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They are now discussing mission issues with Baku and Yerevan. Discussions also include controversy over the status issue. Precisely because the status quo causes controversy in the positions of Yerevan and Baku, the three leaders decided to bypass the issue and leave it to the future.
The OSCE MG should also deal with it. They have already resumed contacts with the parties and plan to pay another visit to the region. The status issue will be resolved more easily if all the declarations and commitments made by the parties related to ensuring the neighborly and coexistence of all ethnic and religious communities are implemented.
As for the exotic idea of including Nagorno Karabakh in Russia - it has not been recognized by anyone, including Armenia. We do not have such an idea, our approach is that the status issue should be resolved between the countries, first of all, between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We will be ready to seek and adopt a solution that will ensure peace, stability and security in the region and, most importantly, the security of the people who have always lived there and will continue to live there".