ArmInfo.Russia supports Turkey's efforts to normalize the situation in the South Caucasus. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated on January 14 at a press conference on the results of 2021, answering a question about Turkey's initiatives in the South Caucasus.
"We unconditionally support those efforts and actively participate [in them]. They contribute to the normalization of the situation in the South Caucasus and help to create conditions for the still remaining political problems to be resolved much more actively, more fruitfully, through, among other things, economic and other cooperation between the three countries of the South Caucasus and their three large neighbors - Russia, Turkey and Iran>, said the head of Russian Foreign Ministry. In this vein, he recalled that the idea of the 3 + 3 format, which was first proposed by the President of Azerbaijan, and then by the leader of Turkey, was actively supported by the Russian side.
"We immediately saw a very good unifying potential in this idea and from the first days of its discussion, and at the meeting held in Moscow, we advocated the involvement of our Georgian neighbors in this process, based on the fact that the more opportunities for communication, the better the solution to the remaining problems," Lavrov added, recalling that Russia and Georgia are now communicating within the framework of the Geneva discussions on the Transcaucasus, where the consequences of Georgia's "aggression" after August 2008 are also discussed within the framework of an unofficial bilateral platform that was created between Moscow and Tbilisi a long time ago.
Howerver, Lavrov continued, in his opinion the processes started in the 3+3 format are much more significant, because the prospects for the development of the entire region are discussed in this format. "Now that peace agreements have been reached after the hostilities of 2020, when, with the assistance of the President of Russia, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan signed agreements (trilateral statement, ed. note) on the completion of hostile actions, and on the development of trade and economic ties, the unblocking of all routes in the region. Of course, this opens up opportunities in which Russia, Iran, Turkey, and I am sure Georgia as well, are interested. It seems to me that it is in their interests to join this format without preconditions", he said, adding that it is possible to agree on discussing in this format only topics of interest to all participants.
At the same time, Lavrov drew attention to the fact that due to the lack of diplomatic relations with Georgia, interrupted at the initiative of the Georgian side, Moscow has fewer opportunities to explain to Tbilisi the advantages of this platform. The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Moscow turned to Turkish and Azerbaijani partners with a request to explain to their Georgian neighbors the advantages of this format. "Such a connection will not oblige them to anything - this concerns their political positions," summed up Lavrov.
It should be noted that on December 10, the first meeting of the 3+3 consultative regional platform was held in Moscow, co-chaired by the Deputy Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey and the Director General of the Iranian Foreign Ministry. The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the Georgian representatives, who were also invited, refused to attend the meeting.