Russia claims that its efforts with Turkiye have helped to de-escalate tensions in the South Caucasus.

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Russia claims that cooperation with Turkiye has helped to de-escalate tensions in the South Caucasus.

The first meeting between representatives of Armenia and Turkiye was warmly welcomed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

Russia said on Friday that its efforts with Turkiye had aided in improving the situation in the South Caucasus and resolving the region’s current political issues.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow has always supported a proposed 3(plus)3 format, which includes Iran, Russia, and Turkey, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, to help resolve regional disputes.

“We immediately saw a very good unifying potential in this initiative, and we immediately… advocated that our Georgian neighbors be included in this process, proceeding from the fact that the more opportunities for communication, the better for solving the remaining problems,” Lavrov said at an annual press conference assessing foreign policy developments over the previous year.

“We support these efforts, we actively participate in them, they contribute to the normalization of the situation in the South Caucasus and help create conditions for the remaining political problems to be solved much more actively and fruitfully through, among other things, economic cooperation between the three countries of the South Caucasus and their three large neighbors — Russia, Turkiye, and Azerbaijan,” Lavrov said, emphasizing that this format would benefit the entire region.

Lavrov expressed regret that Georgia did not participate in the 3(plus)3 format’s first meeting in December, saying that Russia had asked Turkiye, Azerbaijan, and Armenia to explain the benefits of joining to Georgia.

“Being a part of the format does not bind them (Georgia) to anything,” the diplomat stated.

He also praised the first meeting between Turkiye and Armenian representatives, which took place on January.

The meeting took place on November 14 in Moscow as the two countries work toward normalization, with Russia assisting in its organization.

Russia anticipates an increase in NATO forces stationed near its borders.

In two to three months, Moscow expects the West to beef up its military presence along Russia’s borders, according to Lavrov.

He claimed that Russia had “reason to believe” that this would happen if it did not comply with Western demands on “how to deal with its troops on its soil.”

Lavrov noted that Russia’s request for the West to provide security guarantees was aimed at reducing military conflict.

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