Baku, Azerbaijan, March 18
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
The situation in Ukraine shows once and for all why the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has to be resolved, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar told journalists March 18 at an event held at the U.S. Embassy.
"First of all I would refer to the statements that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have made with respect to the situation in Ukraine and Crimea," Morningstar said.
The ambassador said that what happened in Ukraine was a very bad thing and appropriate actions need to be taken.
"I would add that what happened in Ukraine, to me makes even more important other relations between Azerbaijan and United States, and Azerbaijan and European Union," Morningstar said. "I think that it shows once and for all why the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has to be resolved".
The United States does not recognize the results of the referendum held in the Crimea, as it considers the referendum illegal and has warned Russia that the country would have to be held accountable for its actions in Ukraine and face international sanctions.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
"It is important that presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia come up with steps to lead to a resolution and to remove Nagorno-Karabakh as an unstable situation in this region. It is not helpful for anybody that this conflict goes on," the ambassador added.
The vast majority of residents of Crimea - 96 percent - voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, in a referendum held March 16.
Most countries refused to recognize the referendum's results.
A change of power took place in Ukraine on Feb.22.
The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine ousted President Viktor Yanukovych from the power, changed the constitution and scheduled presidential elections for May 25.
Yanukovych said he was forced to leave Ukraine under the threat of violence, and he remains the legally elected head of state.
A number of provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as the Crimea did not recognize the legitimacy of the Rada and decided on possibility of holding a referendum on the future fate of the regions.