Lavrov: Use of force in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone unacceptable
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 8
The foreign ministers of Russia and Armenia Sergey Lavrov and Edward Nalbandian discussed on Friday the escalation of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian minister said about the unacceptability of the use of force in the region, RIA Novosti reported April 8.
Lavrov pointed out that from the very beginning of deterioration of the situation Russia is making efforts to ceasefire.
He called unacceptable the use of force in the conflict zone, noting the importance of respecting the ceasefire and excluding recurrence of such a situation, the creation of appropriate conditions for the continuation of talks in OSCE MG format.
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.