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 Friday, January 27 2023 10:08
Marianna Mkrtchyan

U.S. committed to Armenia-Azerbaijan peace negotiations - Vedant  Patel 

U.S. committed to Armenia-Azerbaijan peace negotiations - Vedant  Patel 

ArmInfo. The U.S. is committed to Armenia-Azerbaijan peace negotiations, Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State, told  briefing as he commented on a sharp statement Russian FM Sergey  Lavrov made on January 26. 

"First, the U.S. is committed to Armenia-Azerbaijan peace  negotiations. We welcome efforts by partners, including the European  Union, to build confidence in the region and to ensure an environment  conducive to direct dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We  continue to work closely with all our partners directly and with  partners in the region as well when effective.

"Specifically, about Russia's role, the U.S. was not involved in the  November 20 ceasefire brokered by Russia between Armenia and  Azerbaijan that resulted in the deployment of Russian peacekeepers,  so I just wouldn't have anything additional to offer on that. But of  course.this is something that is deeply important to the Secretary  [Antony Blinken], something he's paid close attention to and been  deeply engaged on." 

Russia denounced on Thursday the impending deployment of a new team  of European Union monitors along Armenia's border with Azerbaijan,  saying that it could only heighten tensions between the two South  Caucasus nations.

EU foreign ministers approved the two-year monitoring mission on  Monday in a move requested and welcomed by Armenia. The mission will  "contribute to stability in the border areas of Armenia" and  facilitate an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal.

The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed that the mission could on the  contrary "bring geopolitical confrontation to the region and  exacerbate existing disagreements." It branded the EU as an  "appendage of the U.S. and NATO."

"We do not see any 'added value' from the supervision of EU 'experts'  over events in the Armenian- Azerbaijani border area," the ministry  said in a statement. "If Brussels were sincerely interested in peace  in the Transcaucasus, they would agree on the terms of their  mission's work with Azerbaijan."

"Attempts by the European Union to gain a foothold in Armenia and  push back Russia's mediation efforts at any cost can harm the  fundamental interests of Armenians and Azerbaijanis in their  aspirations to return to the peaceful development of the region,"  added the statement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov deplored the planned dispatch  of more than 100 EU monitors even before its official announcement.  Speaking at a January 18 news conference in Moscow, Lavrov also  rebuked Armenia for refusing a similar mission offered by the  Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in November.  

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