ArmInfo. Russia, as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, supports the continuation of the work of this format, in accordance, first of all, with its mandate. This was stated on January 20 at a weekly briefing by official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, referring to the statements of the Azerbaijani leader about the inexpediency of further activities of the Minsk mediators in view of the fact that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has already been resolved by Azerbaijan by force.
According to her, the activities of mediators should also be carried out taking into account the regional realities that have emerged after 2020. "Our is fully supported by our partners in the OSCE Minsk Group - the United States and France. This was reflected in the joint statement of the heads of the foreign ministries of the co-chairing states of the Minsk Group dated December 7, 2021", she said.
At the same time, Zakharova recalled that this statement calls on Baku and Yerevan to receive the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in the region in the near future, which will allow them to assess the situation directly on the ground, on the spot to achieve tangible progress in the implementation of humanitarian initiatives, which were discussed at the meetings of the mediators with Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan. "Following the results of the above-mentioned contacts, which took place in September and November last year, respectively in New York and Paris, on the sidelines of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Stockholm on December 2, 2021, the co-chairs handed over to both Ministers balanced, quite realistic proposals on the agenda for further interaction. This was aimed at solving urgent humanitarian problems, and issues, first of all, of a socio-economic plan. We expect an official reaction from the parties, including on the issue of the resumption of the Co-Chairs regional visits," Zakharova summed up.
It should be noted that on January 12, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, in an interview with Azerbaijani TV channels, among other issues, touched upon the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group. Once again, criticizing their work, Aliyev stated that mediators should not deal with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, since it has been resolved, and if one of the conflicting parties says that the issue has been resolved, then mediation is no longer required. At the same time, he threatened to take tough action if the mediators decide to intervene.