US and Russia "Neutralized" the Hopes of Azerbaijan
Vienna and St. Petersburg agreements are an important part of Karabakh conflict settlement process and are on the agenda. The call of the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE Harry Kamian and the permanent representative of Russia to the OSCE Aleksander Lukashevich to the conflict sides to carry out the agreements of 2016 reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg (the expansion of the office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, introduction of investigation mechanisms) are a clear proof to this.
Lukashevich stressed that the expansion of the office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office will create an opportunity to qualitatively improve the situation in the region. In terms of ensuring stability on the Artsakh-Azerbaijan, Armenia-Azerbaijan borders, he attached importance to the establishment of joint investigative mechanisms for the incidents in the conflict zone.
Moreover the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE expressed hope that the issue of the expansion of the monitoring by the Office of the Chairmanship’s Personal Representative can eventually be reflected in the 2018 OSCE budget.
The approaches of the representatives of both the US and Russia, of course, express the official position of those states: implementation of confidence-building measures and the creation of an atmosphere of mutual trust should be accompanied by political negotiations to register a real result. In fact, this was another counter-argument to the claims of the Azerbaijani authorities that as if the October 16 Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting signaled the resumption of political negotiations without Vienna and St. Petersburg agreements. It should be reminded that the Azerbaijani authorities by all means refuse to implement those agreements.
Nevertheless, it is obvious that without creation of an atmosphere of mutual trust, without the maintenance of the ceasefire regime it would be impossible to talk about peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict. The OSCE MG Co-Chairing countries also understand this, which is seen by the statements of the US and Russian representatives to the OSCE.
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