Russian foreign ministry slams biased coverage of Karabakh conflict (UPDATE)

Politics Materials 6 April 2016 16:38 (UTC +04:00)

Details added (first version posted on 14:43)

Moscow, Russia, Apr. 6

By Orkhan Yolchuyev - Trend:

Some Russian reporters were biased covering the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova told Trend Apr. 6.

"I saw the unacceptable reports of Russian journalists who covered the conflict. Journalists must be objective and not take any sides. Often such reports incite hatred instead of reconciliation," Zakharova said, commenting on the employees of the Russian TV channel and website 'LifeNews' being deported from Azerbaijan.

Russian TV channel 'LifeNews' showed a provocative anti-Azerbaijani program, Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said earlier. The journalists of the TV channel were deported from Azerbaijan because of their improper activity, according to the ministry.

Media outlets should give objective information when it comes to a protracted conflict, during which a large number of people were killed, Zakharova said.

While being independent, media outlets must understand they cannot take any sides when it comes to the acute phase of the conflict, she said.

"While the efforts of the international community are aimed at doing everything possible to stop the violence and people's deaths, prevent the conflict from growing, journalists prepare such unacceptable articles, which serve to the incitement of hatred," Zakharova said. "Journalists should understand their responsibility."

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.

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.