14 Apr 2022 19:53

Russia determined to facilitate conclusion of peace treaty between Armenia, Azerbaijan - Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. April 14 (Interfax) - Russia is determined to promote the conclusion of a peace treaty between Yerevan and Baku, to this end, Ambassador-at-Large Igor Khovayev will continue his work in his new capacity as the Russian foreign minister's special representative for facilitating the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"As we noted earlier, the 'Fundamental Principles for Establishing Interstate Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia' proposed by Baku and Yerevan's response to them are designed to serve as a basis for launching Azerbaijani-Armenian negotiations on a peace treaty," Zakharova is quoted as saying by the Russian Foreign Ministry's official website.

The issue was discussed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in phone talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on April 9, and a day earlier by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the talks in Moscow with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan and in a phone call with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, she said.

"Russia is determined to facilitate the conclusion of a peace treaty between Yerevan and Baku," Zakharova said.

She noted that on February 24, the United States and France halted all contacts with Russia as part of the three co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Minsk Group. "Meanwhile, the real situation in the South Caucasus does not allow for a pause in negotiations. There is a need for further consistent steps to restore long-term peace and stability in the region, since the U.S. and France have terminated their cooperation between the co-chairs," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

In this regard, Ambassador-at-Large Khovayev, "will continue his work in a new capacity, namely as special representative of the Russian foreign minister for promoting the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia," she said. "He will focus on the matters of elaborating the aforementioned peace treaty," Zakharova said.

She expressed hope for support for Khovayev's efforts from "our allies and partners in Baku and Yerevan." "We are open for constructive interaction with other interested actors," Zakharova said.