ArmInfo.The settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of Russia's most important foreign policy priorities. During a speech at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council Russian Permanent Representative to the Organization Alexander Lukashevich said.
At the beginning of his speech, Lukashevich thanked the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Igor Popov, Stephane Visconti and Andrew Schofer, as well as the personal representative of the OSCE Chairman- in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk and Head of the OSCE High-Level Planning Group Vladimir Minarik for the comprehensive information on the development of the negotiation process and assessment current situation in the region.
"We highly appreciate the efforts of the "threesome" of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs as a collective mediator in developing a viable solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by the parties. The active work of the mediators is accompanied by the maintenance of an intensive dialogue between the parties involved, aimed at finding common ground on key aspects of the settlement and developing confidence-building measures in line with the general goal of preparing the population for peace, "said the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE.
At the same time, he noted with satisfaction the preservation of relative stability on the contact line and the border of Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the low number of violations of the ceasefire. According to Lukashevich, this is a sign of the parties' interest in finding a compromise at the negotiating table. He also expressed the belief that maintaining and strengthening the ceasefire will contribute to the effectiveness of the mediation mission of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
"We look forward to the practical implementation of the discussed confidence-building measures between the parties. Mutual trips of journalists and possible exchanges of held persons could greatly contribute to the environment of trust necessary for progress in the settlement. It is important that representatives of the parties at all levels refrain from statements and unilateral steps, obviously painful for negotiating partners. This does not meet the task of creating the conditions necessary for advancement in a political settlement of the conflict, "- Russian diplomat stated. He also expressed gratitude to Kasprzyk and his highly professional team for their significant contribution to maintaining stability in the region, encouraging contacts between representatives of the parties, and implementing humanitarian initiatives.
"It is necessary to avoid obstacles to the monitoring of the situation on the ground by the personal representative's office. It is useful to return to the practical elaboration of an agreement fundamentally agreed by Azerbaijan and Armenia on expanding the OSCE's ability to monitor the situation on the Contact Line and on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border. We appreciate the contribution of the high-level planning group on updating peacekeeping plans in the region within the framework of the mandate approved at the CSCE summit in Budapest in 1994. In conclusion, we would like to confirm that the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of Russia's most important foreign policy priorities. We intend to continue to jointly and in a coordinated manner with other members of the "threesome" of co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group provide all the necessary assistance to the parties in developing a mutually acceptable basis for a viable compromise, "the Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE concluded.