BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 13
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held phone talks with his Armenian and Azerbaijani colleagues on July 13, in which the sharp aggravation of the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border was discussed, Trend reports referring to the ministry.
During the talks, the minister called on the conflict parties for restraint.
"Lavrov called on the parties for immediate ceasefire, restraint within the undertaken commitments and proposals from the representatives of Russia, the US and France as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and personal representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office,” the ministry stated.
“It was stressed that Russia will continue, both at its national level and as part of the co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group, to fulfill its mediatory mission through contacts with Baku and Yerevan. The Russian side also noted the importance of taking a responsible approach by all members of the Minsk Group in assessing the current situation and avoiding statements and actions that could provoke an additional growth in the tension,” said the statement.
Starting from noon on July 12, units of the armed forces of Armenia, grossly violating the ceasefire in the direction of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district along the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, opened artillery fire at Azerbaijani positions. Azerbaijan's armed response forced the Armenian army to retreat suffering losses.
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, 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 the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.