“The presidents have adopted a joint statement on the trilateral meeting in St. Petersburg on June 20. The statement is about what was discussed during the talks and what agreements were reached,” Zakharova said, noting that any attempt for individual interpretation of the agreement reached at the meeting is inadmissible.
According to the spokesperson, there were reports prior to the St. Petersburg meeting that Russia was allegedly taking the initiative in settlement of the conflict.
“These reports stated that Russia wants to delay the negotiation process mediated by the Minsk Group and change the format of negotiations. However, the St. Petersburg meeting once again dismissed these reports. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs also attended the meeting. They were informed about the meeting in advance. Russia is trying to preserve the potential formed within the framework of the Minsk Group for years,” she stressed.
Zakharova added that the parties welcomed the outcome of the meeting.
“If the parties gave a positive assessment, the meeting actually took place at a high level,” she said.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includesNagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam,Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCEMinsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.