What was the Moscow Declaration of November 2, 2008?

The Moscow Declaration (officially, Declaration by Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia on Nagorno-Karabakh) was signed on November 2, 2008, by the presidents of the Azerbaijan Republic and the Republic of Armenia on the initiative of Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, at his residence in Meidendorf Castle, outside Moscow. In this Declaration, the Presidents stated their intention to create an atmosphere of security and stability in the region. They agreed to intensify their efforts to find a political solution for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles and norms of International Law and decisions and documents accepted in this context.

The Declaration reaffirmed a commitment by the parties to the conflict to continue their negotiations in the light of the Madrid Principles dated November 2007, initiated as a result of mediation efforts by Russia, the US, and France as Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. This commitment meant that the Madrid Principles, which indicated a phased withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan situated outside Nagorno-Karabakh, a return of the IDPs to their homes, and a subsequent determination of the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh via referendum, would form the basis of the negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The Declaration also reaffirmed the non-use of force for resolving the conflict and emphasized that the negotiation process “should be accompanied by legally binding international guarantees for all of its aspects and stages.”[1]

[1] “Declaration by Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia on Nagorno Karabakh,” November 2, 2008.