MOSCOW – Artem Kozhin, a deputy head of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, described the position of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the Karabakh conflict settlement as “possibly nonconstructive.”
Speaking at a news conference on May 9 in Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital Stepanakert, Pashinyan said the conflict cannot be resolved without the direct participation of its authorities in the peace negotiations, saying also that only the authorities have the right to speak on behalf of the people of Karabakh. “By and large, loud statements that do not fit into the process handled by the OSCE are possibly not constructive,” Kozhin said during a weekly briefing on Friday in response to a question from an Azerbaijani journalist.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although not no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabak and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of death a year.