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Lavrov: Russia will be actively contributing to Armenian-Turkish normalization

Russia will do its utmost to bring the documents normalizing the Turkish-Armenia into effect. Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia, said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio.

“We advocate for normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations, for settlement of the Karabakh conflict, which will lead to the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations. Yet we are ready to do everything for it to happen", he said.

The Russian minister said Moscow supported the process that was launched by Ankara and Yerevan several years ago to develop documents that would help open the borders, promote mutual recognition and cooperation.

“Unfortunately, the documents were signed but were not enacted because Turkey did not ratify them at this stage. However, we are going to support it to make it happen,” the minister said.

Asked if President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Yerevan on April 24 to commemorate the Armenian Genocide victims will anyhow damage the relations with Turkey, the minister said: “Paying tribute to the victims of the mass crimes cannot be interpreted as a reason to spoil the relations with anyone, both the governments in the territories where those crimes were perpetrated and other governments,” Lavrov said pointing at such examples of reconciliation as France and Germany, Russia and Germany after World War II.

In 2009, the foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey initialed protocols on normalization of the bilateral relations and opening of the Armenian-Turkish border that was closed by Turkey yet in 1993. For a range of reasons, particularly, under Baku’s pressure, Ankara linked the ratification of the documents with the Karabakh conflict. Yerevan disagreed with that stance. All this brought the normalization process to a halt. The procedure of ratification was suspended.

To recap, on April 24 2015, Armenia marks the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey. Turkey still denies the fact of the genocide.

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