Lavrov meets with senior Armenian government officials

Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, met with senior Armenian government officials in Yerevan on 9 June, on the sidelines of the session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Lavrov also met with Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, to discuss a wide range of issues relating to bilateral relations. Particular emphasis was placed on the importance of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and opening communications in the region to usher in a new, peaceful era.

The Russian foreign minister re-iterated Russia’s full support for the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, adding that Moscow was “ready to do everything possible to reach a mutual agreement”. Lavrov also welcomed the start of the work of the commissions on demarcation and delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, adding that preparations were underway for the next meeting, which is due to take place in Moscow. 

Lavrov also held a meeting with the Armenian president, Vahagn Khachaturyan, to discuss Armenian-Russian bilateral relations, including the importance of unblocking communications for the development of economic relations. 

The Russian foreign minister also met with his Armenian counterpart and the two held a joint press conference, during which they both welcomed statements from the Turkish authorities regarding their readiness to normalise relations and establish diplomatic relations with Armenia. Lavrov noted that in this context, it was essential to ensure that the work of the “3+3” regional platform went ahead as an additional channel to promote dialogue and the development of cooperation between the countries of the region. Mirzoyan emphasised Armenia’s position that the Armenia-Azerbaijan and Armenia-Turkey normalisation processes need to be approached independently, urging the Turkish government not to try and “find interconnectedness between the two issues”. 

Lavrov also expressed optimism that a final agreement on the settlement of the bilateral relations of Armenia and Azerbaijan could be reached soon. He added that there was a common perception that the process was moving forward in the right direction. While he acknowledged that things could be going faster, he noted that intermediate results were being achieved, and that there was “no doubt” that a final agreement would be reached. He also hinted at the issue of the parallel tracks currently being employed, stating that “all sides have their own visions, which do not always coincide”.

Finally, Lavrov also touched upon the issue of railways, which he said “was based absolutely on the sovereignty of the territory of Armenia”, and the Russian military contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. On this issue, he affirmed that the stabilisation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh was among the priorities of the Russian forces, and there are already some results in this respect.

source: with agencies
photo: Lavrov in Yerevan with Mirzoyan; Official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry