Moscow calls on Karabakh conflict parties to show restraint
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 2
Russia is very concerned over the reports of serious aggravation of situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, said Mariya Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, in a statement Apr. 2, reports TASS news agency.
"We call on the sides to show restraint and we believe it is necessary to immediately cease armed clashes," said Zakharova.
She said Russia's Foreign Ministry is in constant contact with the officials of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministries.
On the night of April 2, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from large-caliber weapons, mortars, grenade launchers and guns.
Azerbaijani settlements near the contact line, densely populated by civilians, were fired at as well. Civilians were killed and wounded as a result of the Armenian attacks.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.