Lavrov Calls for ‘Liberating’ Lands, Yerevan Says ‘No Concessions’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan held Joint Press Conference, Moscow, June 7, 2018 (Photo: Flickr/МИД России)

(ASBAREZ)—As the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan were preparing to hold a virtual meeting with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs on Tuesday, a disagreement was brewing between Moscow and Yerevan, when Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that the negotiating sides were moving toward a phased, or stage-by-stage, approach to settle the Karabakh conflict.

Speaking at a virtual roundtable on Tuesday, Lavrov said that the negotiating sides were actively discussing a conflict settlement that was proposed during a meeting in Moscow last year between the foreign minister of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mammadyarov.

“There are Madrid Principles. There are documents prepared by the Russian Federation in 2010-2011, the so-called Kazan document. There are projects that were distributed in April last year in Moscow at the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan with the participation of the co-chairs, and they are now being actively discussed,” Lavrov said, implying that the an eventual settlement of the conflict will be done in phases, or a stage-by-stage approach.

Lavrov went a step further in his remarks on Tuesday by saying that “assuming at the first stage the solution of the most pressing problems, which are the liberation of a number of areas around Nagorno-Karabakh and the unlocking of transport, economic and other communications.”

“I am convinced that when we come to the decision to sign these documents, it will be the most important step in the implementation of the resolutions of the UN Security Council, which are in question and which, once again, demanded to stop the war and start negotiating,” added Lavrov. “We started to negotiate, we need to agree now. This is what we are achieving as Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.”

Mnatsakanyan said that Lavrov, in his remarks, had made references to myriad documents “including documents which were discussed during the last two years. These approaches came up in 2014 and 2016 and they are unacceptable for the Armenian sides.”

“There have not been and will not be concessions. The Armenian sides will never exercise that approach,” added Mnatsakanyan.

“Since 2018, the talks on the Karabakh conflict have been limited to the discussion and assessment of approaches which the sides exercised during specific times. The option of settlement, suggested in 2014, is not on the negotiating table now. We have expressed our position clearly, stating that security is the priority for the Armenian sides,” explained Mnatsakanyan. “We have expressed our stance and our approaches very clearly.”

The Armenian Foreign Minister also added that the principle of self-determination was a key factor being presented by Armenia during the negotiations.

“Those who think that it is possible to negotiate one thing and present something else to the the public are mistaken. No decision can be made without the people of Artsakh,” emphasized Mnatsakanyan.


  1. Mr. Lavrov must be confused. The “territories” around the artificial borders of the former
    Nagorno- Karabakh Autonomous Area…. are liberated as a result of the heroic and defensive
    measures of the Armenian population from 1991-94. The Madrid principles are not only anti-Armenian
    and ignore the reality of the last 30 years, but does not account for the offensive and racist behavior
    of Azerbaijan:

    1. The “territories” are an integral part of Artsakh and critical to the national security of the state.

    2. No further referendums are needed. The people of Artsakh followed the Soviet Constitution
    for legal status and conducted a duly constituted referendum as an expression of will.
    3. The issue of refugees is not practical based on the actions of Azerbaijan to purge 350,000
    Armenians from Azerbaijan, continuing offensive measures and practicing a racist culture.
    Any refugee discussion must address the displaced Armenians and the politically motivated
    use of refugees for the last 30 years. The displaced Armenians have moved on and become
    productive members of the greater Armenian nation. The Azeris have maintained the poor status
    of the former refugees for political motivations.

    4. In the 26 years since the “cease fire” , Artsakh has become a functioning democracy with a
    market economy… far exceeding Azerbaijan in the area of freedom. This illustrates that the
    future of Artsakh is freedom and independence not a return to the oppressive Azeri reality.

    For these reasons, Madrid Document must be updated to address the reality of the Artsakh
    Republic, its security and an end to Azeri aggression.

    • I agree with your points Stepan but I would add that Lavrov is right to talk about liberating territories, especially territories that Artsakh must still liberate from its Azeri occupiers.

      And any talk about relocating Azeri populations back into Artsakh must be forever taken off the table. That is just as treacherous as handing territories back. I know you implied it in your point 3 but we should be explicit about it.

  2. Lavrov is not confused, the traditional Apparatchik behaves as the traditional Apparatchik does – make every excuse to side with pan-turkic movements against Armenians while at the same time proclaiming the “historic friendship and alliance between Armenia and Russia” in order to screw with Armenian’s heads. This actually has worked brilliantly for the past century, that is the actual reason we are in this mess called “Armenia” today.

    The only ones confused now are the Armenian Apparatchiks, who are scrambling to form a quick excuse to explain away Russia’s now blatant siding with Azerbaijan, against the interest of all Armenians. Indeed the Armenian Apparatchik puppy must be actually in real pain right now wondering why the master suddenly revealed that there is another prize puppy in the kennel that the master actually is more fond of. Hint, Apparatchiks: your master always preferred the turk and azeri puppy, only you were always too gullible to see it. The Armenian puppy is more trouble than it is worth for “Mother Russia”, or better yet, “Mother (of Pan-Turkism) Russia”.

    Conclusion: “Mother (of Pan-Turkism) Russia” is extremely annoyed and disappointed that the Armenians won the Artsakh war, despite it supplying them with ten times the amount of weapons supplied to Armenia. Clearly a slight miscalculation by Apparatchikia, but not to worry, “Mother (of Pan-Turkism) Russia” has other tricks up its sleeve, and these comments by Lavrov are but a small sample. Imagine how easy things would be if only their favorite puppy in the kennel (azerbaijan) would be the one to win, the Apparatchik dream of “Armenia without Armenians” would have been very close to completion today. But not to worry, that dream may yet come true based on the tenacity of the Apparatchiks of Moscow, and extreme incompetence of our “leaders” in Yerevan. After 100 years they still haven’t figured out the game, because the game is always played by three players, and a boot shiner who always thought he was part of the game. Hint: Neither Russia, nor Turkey, nor Azerbaijan have shined boots in the past century. And as the events of 2016 proved, Armenia is still managing to produce some expert shoe shiners, despite a century of continuous rape. Now that is impressive isn’t it? By the way Apparatchiks, a question. When “Mother (of Pan-Turkism) Russia” invaded Georgia, cut up Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and subsequently recognized them as independent nations, was it within ONE WEEK or TWO WEEKS??

    • Russia is not telling anyone what to do. Lavrov is merely warning the Armenian public that its leadership has been negotiating on handing back territories behind its people’s back. Mnatsakanyan and Nikol are deceiving us all. We have to thank Lavrov for bringing this to the surface.

  3. There is no difference between the so-called “Madrid Principles” and the Moscow/Kars illegal treaties, by which the Bolsheviks gave Armenian lands to Turks. Armenians liberated some of their native lands from Azerbaijan with their blood. Russia is still trying to enforce the infamous Moscow/Kars treaties by arming the Azeris to win back these lands. Putin/Lavrov is no different than the criminal Soviet Union, still arming the bloodthirsty Turkey & Azerbaijan.

  4. For more than a century–mostly in the 18th Century–Armenians asked the Russians to liberate Eastern Armenia and drive out the Turks and the Persians. We were naively thinking Christian Russia would help us. The Russians refused to help until it was convenient for them. When they finally came in the early 1830s, they declared Armenia was to be an oblast (province?) of Russia and controlled by Moscow. They also shut Armenian schools and churches and banned Armenian books. that’s how it was until Tsar Nicholas II abdicated and the Russian Empire broke up. Armenians enjoyed a brief period of independence but the damned Turks invaded Armenia. We were forced to invite Soviet Russia to help us. Taking advantage of our weakness, Russia gave Kars/Ardahan to Turkey and Nakhichevan/Artsakh to Turkic Azerbaijan. And then we had to endure 70 years of Soviet oppression. Some friends we have in the Russians. We certainly don’t need the half-Armenian Vassag Lavrov to tell us what we should do re Artsakh.

  5. Lavrov…Betraying his Armenian father’s Y-chromosome
    I’m sure, he inherited many good genes from him
    and his political attitudes …

    Shame …
    He forgot how many young lives Armenians lost
    How many mothers, wives, are crying still…
    Their children will breathe orphans all their lives…
    During Artsakh unfair war …
    Which could have been easily saved…
    If Soviet gangs did not support criminal Tatars…

    Sylva Portoian, MD
    Written instantly
    April 26, 2010 …
    April the month full of screams and tears …

    • Well, as the old Armenian saying goes, “The trees rejoiced when the ax entered the forest, proclaiming that the handle was one of theirs”.

      That is the history of Armenia, and why we never learn.

  6. It amazes me how illiterate/ignorant Armenians are when it comes to politics, and how far Western financed Russophobia has gotten among English speaking Armenians. Here we see a Russian official of Armenian decent essentially warning Armenians about what their NED/Soros funded leaders are doing behind their backs… and all our sheeple can think of doing is attack the messenger? Simply amazing…

    • @Concerned Armenian I agree. For 20 years we never heard a peep out of the Russians when the previous 2 Armenian presidents were negotiating with the Azeris. Now at this critical moment Lavrov is essentially letting the cat out of the bag as a warning to the Armenian people that their prime minister is busily negotiating to hand back territories.

      Should the Armenian people rise up and stop him then Nilol’s backup plan is to resettle hundreds of thousands Azeris into Artsakh. Hence his constant reference to the need to satisfy the Azeri people and his recognition of the artificial political organisation of Azeri Karabagh refugees. Also Nikol and his lame foreign minister are constantly repeating that they’re interested not in borders, but in security which is a load of $#£t.

      This is essentially Levon Ter Petrossian’s plan re-packaged but more dangerous because now there is no Vazgen Sarkisyan left and the only man that can stop him has been illegally imprisoned with no charges – Robert Kocharyan.

      Should neither of these scenarios occur then the final option is war, only this time we risk losing due to the degredation of national spirit this new government has caused.

      I hope I’m wrong but dark clouds are gathering over Artsakh and Armenia unless they change their government soon.

  7. Russia resurrected Armenia two hundred years ago and has since preserved her in the South Caucasus against all odds. Those who gave away Armenian populated lands to Turks were the Jew led Bolsheviks. The same also gave way Russian populated lands to other peoples. But even the Bolshevik government had enough sense to make sure an Armenia existed. Today, without Russia, Armenia won’t last even a week. Without the Russian military in Armenia, Turks, Azeris and Wahhabi extremists will invade the country in no time. And when that happens, none of our anti-Russian “fedayees” for Uncle Sam will be anywhere in sight. Armenia and Artsakh exist because of the Russian factor in the south Caucasus. Period. Anyone that does not understand this is either a Turkish/Western agent or simply a moron.

    • All you see taking place is part of the plan to drive a wedge between Armenia and Russia, weaken Armenia, and settle the Artsakh dispute in accordance with the wishes of the “international community”. Despite their corruption, Serj and Robert could not go along with such a plan. This, in a nutshell, is why today’s NED and George Soros funded government was put into power in Yerevan. This is also why we are seeing a significant rise of anti-Russian activists (of course paid by Turks, Jews and/or Westerners) throughout Armenian society. The plan is to basically sow internal political conflict in Armenia (it’s being done as I write this) and undermine relations between Yerevan and Moscow (it’s being done as I write this). It’s all going according to plan because over 99% of Armenians are politically illiterate and/or have a treasonous streak in their DNA. With post-Soviet Armenia in a political, cultural and economic decline, sooner or later, Azerbaijan will attack in force. What happened during April, 2016 was a small skirmish, not a war. This time around will see a real war. And this time around our losses will be much worst. Remember my words. And,as it has been for the past two hundred-plus years, Russia will again jump in to save us from a worst fate. But Baku will have taken back significant amount of territories. A peace will thereafter be brokered by the international community. The end.

  8. To the tone-deaf Apparatchiks who claim “Lavrov is warning Armenians that Pahinyan/Mnatsakanyan are working to hand out lands”:

    What a pathetic excuse. If that was the case, then Mnatsakanyan would not have given that response, therefore, that claim has no merit whatsoever.

  9. Although it is useless to educate the broken-record russiabots self-set on a repeat loop, once again I will deconstruct that entire “opinion” for the sake of warning others here that may fall victim to the Moscow-instructed propaganda.

    BS #1: “Russia resurrected Armenia two hundred years ago”
    HOGWASH. Armenia was resurrected and thus exists because the Tashnagtsoutioun established it after WWI. Show me a single document, official statement, historical event or anything else proving it was Russia. Surely such a claim would have a historical record of some kind? In this respect, there is no difference between your kind (whoever you are) and an Azeri talking about “ancient Azerbaijan”. Historical illiterates, two sides of the same coin. Imperial Russia wanted Armenia for itself for imperialist reasons, no different than the imperialism of any other power. We admit this eventually became an advantage for Armenians and the ARF seized the opportunity, and that was definitely not in Russia’s plan or intent, but the fact that you hold this metric to Armenia and surprise, surprise not Azerbaijan is very telling.

    BS #2: “Those who gave away Armenian populated lands to Turks were the Jew led Bolsheviks”
    That is a half truth at best, and let us assume it is completely true and ethnic Russians had nothing to do with it. That being the case, why haven’t the subsequent “Russian led” Russia correct it based on your ridiculous theory that “Russia resurrected Armenia”? Russia resurrected Armenia, but after the Jews gave away Armenian lands to the Turks, the Russians are now content with it? That makes no sense whatsoever. If Jews were involved, Russians were also involved every step of the way. Today’s attitude from Russia not recognizing Artsakh after 25 years and after they recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia within one week proves this point very clearly. And don’t give me that “realpolitik” nonsense either of Russia has to deal with NATO and Turkey etc. Russia absolutely didn’t care about the USA or NATO or Turkey when they took Crimea, Abkhazia and Ossetia.

    BS #3: “But even the Bolshevik government had enough sense to make sure an Armenia existed”
    Are you even serious? Lenin Papik and Stalin Hayrik obviously never taught you that they tried very hard to give Syunik to the Turks and were stopped by that silly Dashnak Garegin Njdeh. That’s why he later had to die in a Russian jail. Not to mention that if it was not for the post WWII diaspora there would be no Armenia today. The WWII leftover Armenians knew it and had to trick us “akhpars” into repopulating Armenia or else it would be handed over to Azerbaijan. That is not a claim or a theory, it is an established fact of history, and you obviously know very little about Armenian history.

    BS #4: “Today, without Russia, Armenia won’t last even a week.”
    SO WHAT???? That is not by accident or charity that is by design, by a program where Russia armed both Turkey and Azerbaijan so that they could keep the threat on Armenia alive always. And without Armenia, how long do you think Russia would last? Here is a hint, if every Armenian decided to leave Armenia today, Russia would invade immediately and declare it part of Russia, that’s how important Armenia is for Russia’s security. Russia has tricked Armenia into providing its security for free and at the expense of Armenian blood for a whole century now. And that failing is more the fault of the incompetent Apparatchik class of Armenia than imperialist Russia. And of course you always hold Armenia to a standard and never Azerbaijan. Without Russia would Azerbaijan also exist? Without the USA would Turkey exist? All smaller low technology countries exist because of the so-called “balance” created by these imperialist world powers.

    BS #5: “Without the Russian military in Armenia, Turks, Azeris and Wahhabi extremists will invade the country in no time. And when that happens, none of our anti-Russian “fedayees” for Uncle Sam will be anywhere in sight.”
    The “anti-Russia fedayees for Uncle Sam” exist only in your delusional mind. No Armenian will be anti-Russia if Russia’s relations with Armenia are sincere. And my point is, Russia is not and has not been sincere, therefore at best I am neutral, neither pro Russia for that reason, nor anti-Russia because Armenia has no choice but be in Russia’s orbit. However, neither you nor your boss in Moscow is going to convince me otherwise because unlike the pathetic subservient examples as yourself who wants Armenia to stagnate in a mediocre Russia-only serving existence, I advocate for change of Russia’s policy of SHOWING pro-Armenianness, not claiming it. We saw what kind of “help” Russia gave us during the Artsakh war, stopping the Armenians from winning the war so that Russia could go on selling weapons to the enemies of Armenia, both Azerbaijan and now Turkey. That is not an “ally”, that is tyrant.

    BS #6: “Armenia and Artsakh exist because of the Russian factor in the south Caucasus. Period. Anyone that does not understand this is either a Turkish/Western agent or simply a moron.”
    We understand very well that Russia armed Ataturk so that they both can invade Armenia, and subsequently gave large plots of Armenian land to Turkey and Azerbaijan in order to landlock Armenia and to make sure that Armenia can never prosper or have freedom. We understand very well that in the decades that followed, Russia did absolutely nothing to correct Armenia’s situation. We understand very well that after the people of Artsakh rose up, Russia stopped them from imposing condition on Azerbaijan in order to save and prop up Azerbaijan again by continuing to sell them weapons and doing nothing to stop them form cease fire violations and ordering Armenians to also not react to it. We understand very well Russia knew very well of Azerbaijan’s intent in the war of 2016, and not only not warning Armenia, but then proclaiming “both sides need to stop” instead of acting like a real “ally” and “friend” like it claims. The real moron, is the one that does not see this.

    Finally, my ultimate position is, I welcome a sincere Russia-Armenia friendship and alliance. But unlike the tone-deaf brainwashed pathetically subservient Russia worshiper, that will need to be shoulder to shoulder, not head to rear. Russia’s proven lack of sincerity means Armenia needs a plan B “just in case” because that lack of sincerity entails lack of trust.

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