Lavrov made the remarks at a joint press conference with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku, commenting on the recent exchange of visits by journalists from Azerbaijan and Armenia.
“Russia was one of the authors of this initiative,” the Russian foreign minister said. “I think it is very important. Any decision must be made by people who live on this land. I support resumption of contacts between the communities. As a result, the whole Karabakh population will have to decide how they will live.”
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.