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At the level of co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group official Moscow has again confirmed the prospects of solving the problem by peaceful means, and that in fact was the condemnation of Baku’s April adventure. He said that it is essential to remain faithful to the requirements of the agreement of indefinite cease-fire signed in 1994-95, and that the conflict has no military solution. Yerevan, and Stepanakert, and all three co-chairs of the Minsk Group agree to this.
Lavrov also said that Azerbaijan with its latest actions demonstrates asymmetry: it fights with Artsakh, thus proving that there are two main parties of the conflict – Azerbaijan and Artsakh, and Armenia participates as an interested party.
In this way the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the only disturbing factor in solving the problem is Azerbaijan, who refused the roadmap offered in Kazan in 2011.
During the visit, it became clear that the war, as well as changing of the status quo is not beneficial to Russia.
In general, Lavrov’s visit was important in two respects: first, they discussed the Armenian-Russian relations, clarified the scope of cooperation of strategic partners, discussed issues of military-technical cooperation. Second, the process of settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict was discussed.
Lavrov’s statements have already found their echo in Baku through militant speeches and threats. At the same time it became clear for Baku that in the settlement process, it can no longer resort to blackmail, and that among the co-chairmen at least Russia is determined.
It is clear that Azerbaijan’s April adventure failed, not only militarily, but also geopolitically. If previously Baku tried to ignore Stepanakert, but now, after the defeat in the four-day war from Artsakh, Azerbaijan has to be forced to come to terms with the fact of the return of the Artsakh side at the negotiating table. The war has also confirmed that the Republic of Armenia is not a direct participant, but is the guarantor of the security of the Armenians of Artsakh and the region.
Naturally, following any such adventure Azerbaijan may annoy the Russian elite. Moreover, Lavrov hinted that Moscow will not allow the Turkish intervention in the settlement of the problem, and the Kremlin will not tolerate any indication to Baku by Ankara.