The OSCE Minsk Group is exerting maximum effort to adopt a peace deal on the Karabakh basic principles, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
“Of course, we’re worried about the events on the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Lavrov said in an exclusive interview with ITAR-TASS.
“The parties accuse each other of provocations. That happened earlier. Unfortunately, for many years we watch an escalation in such fighting. Many people died. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen urged the parties to show maximum restraint and prevent further fighting,” he said.
“This week the Russian president is planning to have separate meetings with the Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts in Sochi where the Nagorno-Karabakh issue may be discussed,” Lavrov said.
“For certain, we’ll talk about strengthening trust and reducing risks of slipping into confrontation,” he said.
“Every party is rather emotional. We’re taking efforts together with the American and French partners to help solve problems that prevent us from signing an agreement on the common principles of a resolution,” Lavrov said.
“Such political resolution would allow us to normalise the climate. It is not easy. Many attempts were made. We seemed to reach an important stage when accord was achieved. But anything held us up that is why I won’t make predictions,” he said.
Lavrov emphasised the need to help Armenia and Azerbaijan “find comfortable formulations for every party”.
He said earlier the presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia “made a rather modest statement saying it was necessary to develop confidence-building measures”.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Russia would regard attempts to squeeze Russian peacekeepers out of Transdniestria as an unfriendly act designed to undermine the basic principles of the peacekeeping operation on the bank of the Dniester River.
“Such actions will contradict the letter and spirit of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Russia and Moldova,” the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say.
"Moldova and Ukraine have coordinated actions to impose an economic and transportation blockade against Transdniestria in a bid to force it to make concessions at negotiations and give up its foreign policy priorities. These attempts may increase regional tensions,” the Foreign Ministry said in its statement.