Karabakh conflict’s settlement – responsibility of OSCE, says Russian official

Karabakh conflict’s settlement – responsibility of OSCE, says Russian official

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 8

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The settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE's sole responsibility, other organizations can only help, RIA Novosti agency quoted Russia's Permanent Representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich as saying Apr.8.

"There is a full, 100-percent responsibility of the OSCE as a mediating party for what happens in the conflict zone," he said during the Moscow-Vienna video conference.

The truce on the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops has been achieved thanks to Russia's efforts, according to him.

"We emphasized respect and full support for the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and used all our opportunities to influence the conflict parties, with which we have strategic relations," said Lukashevich.

Russia's large-scale and high interference has allowed reaching truce, he added.

On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.

Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry earlier said. Ignoring the agreement, the Armenian side again started violating the ceasefire.

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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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