Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 90

A new round of negotiations among Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Karabakh, co-chaired by Russian and Finnish diplomats in the framework of the OSCE’s Minsk group, has been in progress since September 4 in Moscow. The negotiations focus on a draft overall political agreement, the security and future status of Karabakh, the issue of refugees, and disengagement of forces and deployment of OSCE-sponsored peacekeeping troops. The Armenian side is particularly interested in the peacekeepers’ early deployment and in the creation of the post of permanent OSCE envoy in Karabakh, prior to any political agreement. Azerbaijan insists that the Armenian-held towns of Lachin and Shusha be returned to Azerbaijan as a condition of progress on other issues. The Armenians are unlikely to agree because the Lachin area, situated outside the Karabakh enclave, constitutes a vital overland corridor between it and Armenia proper; while Shusha, an historic Azeri town in the heart of Karabakh just above its capital Stepanakert, was long used by the Azeris to shell it. The negotiations in Moscow are being accompanied by exchanges on the ground, where Armenian troops remain securely entrenched deep in Azeri territory. 12

Shevardnadze to Confront Sources of Instability.