ArmInfo. The US State Department accused Moscow of spreading misinformation about Washington's efforts to normalize relations between Yerevan and Baku.
On October 28, during a briefing at the request of a journalist to clarify whether there is any kind of Washington plan for the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, and if so, how does it differ from the Russian one, and what are the US expectations from the Sochi meeting of the leaders of the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan and Armenia, State Department spokesman Ned Price, in part, said:
"First, there continues to be misinformation and, probably more accurately, disinformation emanating from certain corners, including from Moscow, when it comes to our intentions vis-a-vis Armenia and Azerbaijan. The United States is a partner to both of these countries. We have been a partner to both of these countries over the course of decades. There is no greater supporter than the United States for the sovereignty and the independence of the countries of the South Caucasus, including Armenia and Azerbaijan. The restoration of Armenia, Azerbaijan's independence in 1991 from the Soviet Union - it was a seminal event that guaranteed each of these countries the right to pursue their own foreign policy interests, to pursue their own interests independent of Moscow or any other country around the world.
So when we engage with Armenia and Azerbaijan, we are doing so with one purpose in mind and one purpose only, and that is to put an end to the violence and to put these countries on the path to a lasting and comprehensive peace. We have encouraged and been clear with these countries - Armenia and Azerbaijan - that they should meet in whatever format is most useful to them. We do believe in the utility of direct dialogue to resolving issues and to reaching that lasting peace.
I'm not going to comment specifically on the efforts of the Russian Federation except to say that, again, it is up to these two countries to decide the approach they will take to these upcoming talks. We - I think the world knows of Russia's history when it comes to its neighbors and its neighborhood. Russia's 2008 invasion of Georgia and it's ongoing brutal invasion of Ukraine show that Moscow has little respect for its neighbors' sovereignty, and it's hardly a reliable, long-term partner. We think that is in stark contrast to the United States. And again, our only intent is to help these countries achieve for themselves an end to the violence and a lasting and a comprehensive peace that the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan so desperately want," he summed up.
It should be reminded that certain circles are spreading information that there are two plans for the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations - Western plan (Washington or Brussels) and Russian plan. Thus, according to the same reports, the Washington plan proposes the transfer of Artsakh to the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan and the normalization of relations without presenting the so- called transport corridor through the territory of Armenia. The Russian plan, however, suggests postponing the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh for the future, until better times, when confidence between Yerevan and Baku is restored to some extent, however, it involves providing a transport route through the territory of Armenia. This provision is also included in paragraph 9 of the tripartite statement of November 9/10, 2020. In particular, it refers to the unblocking of communications in the region, and the provision of transport links between Azerbaijan and its exclave Nakhijevan through Armenian territory. The security of the route according to paragraph 9 will be controlled by Russian border guards.
Some circles, including the top leadership of Azerbaijan, are trying to speculate on this issue, assuring that the transport route should be of extraterritorial significance