The President of Russia Vladimir Putin held telephone talks with the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia, during which was discussed the situation with the aggravation of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. In a press-service of the Kremlin emphasized that the conversation of the head of state Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan took place at the initiative of the Russian side.
“Discussed in detail the latest developments in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Expressing serious concern over large-scale armed clashes, which led to numerous victims, Vladimir Putin urged both sides to urgently ensure the full cessation of hostilities and respect the ceasefire”, – said the press service of the President.
The Kremlin added that Russia is already implementing and will continue to make the necessary intermediary steps to promote normalcy. During the trilateral contacts also emphasized the importance of restarting the negotiation process between Yerevan and Baku with the assistance of the OSCE Minsk group.
At the end of the conversation the sides agreed to continue contacts in different formats in order to further search for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, explained in the Kremlin.
Earlier, on 5 April, the armed forces of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic announced a ceasefire in the region since last Saturday are clashes. “We received orders to cease fire”, – told Reuters a source in the defense Ministry of the NKR.
Simultaneously, the source Agency “Interfax” in Armenian diplomatic circles told reporters that to reach an agreement on a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh helped Russia. “The agreement achieved with Russian mediation,” he explained. Whether between the parties to the conflict signed a new ceasefire agreement, the source found it difficult to say.
Later, however, a spokesman for the defense Ministry of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Senor Hasratyan has accused the armed forces of Azerbaijan of violating the ceasefire.
“The enemy violated the ceasefire regime, currently in different areas are firing, but with less intensity compared to previous days”, he said. Hasratyan said that the Armenian forces refrained from retaliatory measures. “We strive to remain committed to the agreement reached on a ceasefire”, – he stressed.
The US Ambassador to the OSCE Daniel Baer speaking at the meeting of the Permanent Council on the situation in the region, expressed hope that the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh is going to be sustainable, reports TASS.
“We have seen reports that have managed to establish a truce, and hope that it will be confirmed, will be stable and will be respected,” said the official. According to him, the US condemned “massive violations that led to the deaths of dozens of people, including civilians”.
“We urge the parties to immediately stop the violence and to adhere to the ceasefire regime”, – said the diplomat. He also stressed that “the situation on the ground confirms the necessity to start negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk group.
A colleague of Baer, Russia’s permanent representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich, in turn, also urged parties to the conflict to scrupulously observe the ceasefire. “We urge the parties to immediate and complete ceasefire and exercise restraint in the future,” he said, adding that the established ceasefire regime should be strictly observed.
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh – a disputed region on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan – broke out again in the night last Saturday, April 2. Armenia has announced about the coming of the army of Azerbaijan along the border and in Baku insist that the clashes began after the shelling from the Armenian side, including residential neighborhoods.
The opposition between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh extends from 1988, when the predominantly Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous region declared its withdrawal from Azerbaijan SSR. After the military actions of 1992-1994 Baku lost control over Karabakh and seven surrounding districts.
As a result, Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence. Since 1992 negotiations on peaceful settlement of the conflict. Azerbaijan insists on preserving its territorial integrity, Armenia occupies the unrecognized Republic.
Russia’s position on this issue clearly voiced by the Russian Ambassador to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich. He stressed that “support of one of the parties to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, as proposed by Turkey, destructive and therefore may not be conducted in the future.”