18:31 GMT +322 June 2018
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    Austria's Proposal May Help Prevent Closure of OSCE Office in Yerevan - Lavrov

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    The solution proposed by Austria, the current chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Permanent Council, may help keep the OSCE office in Yerevan open, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On January 27, Clemens Koja, the chairman of the OSCE Permanent Council and permanent representative of Austria, suggested that the Yerevan Office halts its humanitarian demining program, which was questioned by Azerbaijan at the discussions on the extension of mandate of the office.

    "I think that the latest proposal prepared by the Austrian chairmanship solves all existing problems. I hope we will be able to return to it soon and that it will help overcome this situation, which is not optimal for the OSCE," Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

    Lavrov stressed that Russia was not indifferent to the fate of the OSCE office in Armenia as it generally supported the opening of regional offices in the OSCE member states.

    "As for the specific programs, which offices in this or that country are handling, they should definitely comply with OSCE principles and should not lead to any doubts or suspicions that they do not [comply]. In this case, our colleagues from Azerbaijan had questions," Lavrov said.

    The OSCE office in Armenia, currently the only one in South Caucasus, was established in 1999.

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