No simple solution for Karabakh conflict, says Russian president
The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has no simple solutions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
“It is necessary to find a balance of interests of Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve the conflict,” the Russian president added.
What is Azerbaijan saying? It is saying that these seven regions have nothing to do with the ethnic conflict or Armenia, as these are native Azerbaijani territories. And Azerbaijan says, “We have the right to return these territories and sort out things with Nagorno-Karabakh.” You know, everyone has their own truth. There are no easy solutions here; this is a complex knot.
Initially, we proceeded under the premise that this issue is about (our position is absolutely open) transferring five (plus two) regions to Azerbaijan and putting in place certain regulations for Karabakh, certain interaction with Armenia, and so on.
How do we strike a balance of interests that will suit the Azerbaijani people, whom we treat with unwavering respect, while taking into account the interests of the Armenian people and the state of Armenia so that the people feel safe, but at the same time put opportunities for effective regional development in place, including unblocking and expanding the infrastructural opportunities that would form the basis for effective development of both Azerbaijan and Armenia, and Nagorno-Karabakh as well, where people live quite modestly.
This would open up opportunities, including for many participants of our today’s discussion, to take part in developing these territories, to invest, and there are things to invest in there. People in both countries are very efficient and skilled. This 30 year-long conflict precludes the effective development of both conflicting parties.
The first phase must include stopping the hostilities and the loss of life. The parties must sit down at the negotiating table and find a consensus and a balance of interests. This can effectively be done based on the proposals formulated by the Minsk Group and its co-chairs – Russia, the United States and France, with the participation of other Minsk Group members, including Turkey and a number of European states. This can be done.