Russian Deputy FM: Russia plays a decisive role in ending the large-scale hostilities during April war in 2016

Russia has always taken an active mediating position, and assisting the parties in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh protracted conflict is one of our unconditional foreign policy priorities, Russian Deputy FM Andrei Rudenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti, reports.

“The Karabakh issue remains in the focus of attention of the Russian President and FM. This circumstance attaches particular importance to the ongoing mediation activities, determines the increased attention to its results,” he said. According to him, among the documents signed with the direct aid of Russia, the 1994 ceasefire deal, which is still the basis for a ceasefire.

An important step on the path to the mediation efforts of Russia was the adoption in 2008 of the Moscow Declaration, which refers to a political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Deputy FM noted adding that this is the first and so far the only document on the Artsakh settlement, signed both by the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia. “Russia played a decisive role in ending the large-scale hostilities in 2016 by inviting the chiefs of the general staffs of Azerbaijan and Armenia to Moscow,” Rudenko noted. Azerbaijani and Armenian FMs will discuss Karabakh conflict "We carry out our mediation mission in close contact with French and American partners,” he said. According to him, in April last year, in Moscow, Russian FM Sergei Lavrov organized a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs, which was also attended by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. To build on the agreements reached between Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan in Vienna last year, specific proposals aimed at creating an atmosphere conducive to the resumption of the negotiation process on the substance of the settlement were developed, he said adding that among them are measures to further stabilize the situation in the conflict zone, to facilitate the fate of persons in custody on the territory of the parties.

“It was agreed on mutual trips of media representatives, and some key issues of settlement were considered. A number of these proposals have been implemented. The situation at the border and the line of contact remains relatively calm. There is a communication line between Yerevan and Baku. Mutual trips of journalists were carried out. The captured Zaven Karapetyan and Ilvin Ibragimov were returned. Work continues on other prisoners. The ICRC is involved in it,” he added. He expressed believe that all this testifies to the intention of the parties to take concrete steps aimed at preparing the population for peace. According to him, this was discussed at a recent meeting of the FMs of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Geneva. The parties declare their readiness to continue the search for compromise solutions. We support this attitude. There is a basis for continuing work. The main thing is to show political will, he concluded.