Medvedev: Georgia war "very serious lesson" for Azerbaijan, Armenia

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Friday August 05, 2011

Dmitry Medvedev during August 4 interview. Vladimir Rodionov / Russian president's office

Washington - In his August 4 interview with Georgian and Russian journalists, President Dmitry Medvedev argued that Russia's response to Georgia's attempt to establish control over South Ossetia became a "very serious lesson" for the parties to the Karabakh conflict.

When asked about his largely unsuccessful efforts to bring Armenia and Azerbaijan to agreement on basic principles of settlement, most recently in Kazan, Russia in late June, Medvedev responded:

"Following the war both heads of state (Presidents Aliyev and Sargsyan) visited me here in Sochi. They told me that 'what happened is a very difficult thing for the Caucasus' and I agreed with them that it was very bad.

But they also said: 'For us this is a lesson that it is better to conduct endless talks about the fate of Nagorno Karabakh, whether there would be a referendum at some point, how to prepare a peace agreement, than to experience five days of war.'

It became a very serious lesson for them. I think this was very significant."

Since 2008 Medvedev has organized nine meetings between Aliyev and Sargsyan, the effort that has also received support from France and United States, the two other co-mediators in the dispute. 

In November 2008 the Russian president secured a trilateral statement with Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, the first statement of this kind for Baku and Yerevan since 1992, pledging to work towards political settlement.

In October 2010 the three presidents reiterated their 2008 pledge while also agreeing to strengthen the cease-fire on the Line of Contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces.

According to press reports the latest iteration of Basic Principles of Karabakh settlement personally edited by Medvedev ahead of the Kazan meeting was not accepted by Aliyev, who has now been invited to visit with the Russian president next week.

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