The Bishop of Leeds asked a question on the effect ongoing issues with Russia might have on conflict resolution in Armenia and Azerbaijan, during a debate on the aftermath of the Khojaly massacare and the situation in the latter two countries on 17th March 2023:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that answer. I wonder if I can tempt him to comment on the role of Russia in the current situation. Do the wider problems with Russia make it more or less likely that a solution might be found in Azerbaijan and Armenia?
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): My Lords, the right reverent Prelate raises the important issue of Russia’s role. To be quite clear, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the UK has suspended all direct engagement with the Russian authorities, except on a very limited number of issues including the Ukraine crisis. We have no plan to engage directly, but we welcome the interventions of other key partners. I think Russia’s war on Ukraine has hindered the progress that was being made. Whether in the context of Russia’s illegal war on Ukraine or the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, dialogue, discourse and ultimately a peaceful negotiation are desirable outcomes. But Russia’s intervention on the sovereign land of another country cannot be ignored. In that context, as I am sure the right reverend Prelate agrees, Russia can end that conflict now by withdrawing.
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