ArmInfo. France remains fully committed to its role as Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, which continues to function. This is stated in the statement of the French Foreign Ministry following the visit of the Secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Armenia Armen Grigoryan to Paris.
"Grigoryan was informed about the latest consultations between the French and American co-chairs and the representative of the current OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office, to which the Russian co-chair for the third time did not want to join," the French Foreign Ministry stressed.
At the same time, the message of the Ministry notes that the meeting with Grigoryan at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs made it possible to discuss various topics related to the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, in particular humanitarian issues, the process of border delimitation, the opening of regional communication channels, the issue of a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan. "France fully supports the efforts of the European Union to promote normalization, including the establishment of a bilateral commission on border issues. Paris will continue to actively contribute to these efforts.
They also touched upon the rights and security guarantees of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh," the French Foreign Ministry stressed.
It should be noted that on April 8, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that he does not know what the future of the OSCE Minsk Group will be, since the West has stopped contacting Moscow in this format, against the backdrop of the situation around Ukraine.
Then, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, informed that on February 24, Washington and Paris stopped all contacts with Moscow within the "troika" of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. "Meanwhile, the situation in the South Caucasus does not allow for pauses in negotiations. Further consistent steps are required to restore long-term peace and stability in the region, since the US and France have ceased cooperation as co-chairs," Zakharova said.
In this regard, she continued, Ambassador-at-Large Igor Khovaev will continue his work in a new capacity, namely, Special Representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on promoting the normalization of relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia.
Days earlier, Karen Donfried, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, disagreed with the statement that Washington stopped the process under the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship format in the context of the war in Ukraine. When asked whether this would mean cooperation with Russia, the American diplomat answered in the affirmative. "Yes. Russia is a co-chair of the Minsk Group. So, yes. France, the United States and Russia would continue to work in this format," she said. Moscow called this statement of the representative of the State Department not sincere. And already on June 28, the US State Department announced that the Russian co-chairman did not accept the invitation of Washington and Paris to discuss the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh.